Hockey India has entered into a multi-year broadcast agreement with ESPN STAR Sports to exclusively broadcast the soon to be launched Hockey India League (HIL). ESPN STAR Sports will also cover all international hockey test matches under Hockey India to be played in India for the next five years.
Commenting on the development, Dr Narinder Batra, Secretary General, Hockey India and Chairman, Hockey India League, said, “We are delighted to have ESPN STAR Sports as our broadcast partners. Hockey India has a clear vision – we want to revive the glory days of hockey in India and drive popularity of the game across the country. This partnership with ESPN STAR Sports will play a key role in our overall plans.”
Hockey India further announced that ESPN STAR Sports has the global broadcast rights to telecast at least five international hockey test matches every year under Hockey India to be played in India for the next five years. The number of matches that India will play against top quality international opposition could go up, depending on the finalisation of the series schedule.
ESPN STAR Sports has been granted global telecast rights for the professional hockey league. The FIH approved league will see the best of national as well as international hockey stars showcase their prowess. The first edition of the League is expected to be played in January 2013. The League will comprise at least six franchise hockey teams and will feature 33 hockey matches to be played in prime time in state-of-the-art stadia across the country. All teams will play each other on a home and away basis (30 League matches), followed by two semi-finals and the final.
Peter Hutton, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “Hockey is close to our hearts and we will drive all our efforts to make this League a success. We are also delighted to have all international hockey test matches under Hockey India to be played in India on our networks for a five-year period. I look forward to some memorable occasions and a new era for Indian hockey.”