Neo Sports will be the exclusive broadcast partner for World Series Hockey in the Indian Sub-Continent. According to industry sources, “Neo has bagged the broadcasting rights of the inaugural edition of the WSH for approximately Rs 70 crore. For now, we have not thought about other seasons but looking forward to this season. The channel is going to reach a new success with this deal.”
The inaugural edition of the league will be held from next month on Saturday, 17th December to Sunday, 22nd January and will feature 8 teams, 37 days of non stop action and 61 prime time matches that will be broadcast live.
The broadcast plan has been strategically designed to ensure complete prime time play-out in India with absolutely no conflict with live cricket. There will be two matches scheduled daily at 7:30 PM and 9:15 PM to maximize viewership. The entire hockey viewing experience will be embellished with high quality entertainment, never seen before production standards and riveting wrap around programming to delight the consumer.
With World Series Hockey, NEO Sports has added another sport to its kitty. Before this they have aired different sports like Rugby World Cup, Badminton, French Open and Soccer. It shows that NEO Sports wants to diversify its business to every sport and change the impression of only focusing on cricket.
Hockey is the second most watched and followed sport in India after Cricket. In-fact, the average viewership for the India matches during the 2010 World Cup was 2.21, higher than most India international cricket test matches. World Series Hockey is a joint initiative between IHF and Nimbus Sport (the parent company of Neo Sports) and will feature 200 of the biggest stars from India, Australia, Pakistan, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, South Korea and New Zealand.
Prasana Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd said, “Neo Sports has added yet another key blockbuster event to the existing star studded line up with World Series Hockey. The aggressive marketing plan coupled with broadcast innovations will definitely generate unprecedented viewership for the sport in India. Extensive research has revealed that there is a tremendous consumption need gap for a strong second sport in our country and WSH is a fantastic product to specifically service this gap.”
Yannick Colaco, COO, Nimbus Sport said, “World Series Hockey is extremely pleased to partner with India’s No.1 sports network, NEO Sports. Over the next few weeks we will announce our partner licensee broadcasters on premier platforms across the world, ensuring that every hockey fan has the opportunity to be a part of this historic event.”