Hockey India, the governing body for field hockey in india, has entered into a 'multi-year' agreement with ESPN Star Sports (ESS) for broadcast of the Hockey India League (HIL), due for launch in January 2013. Duration for which the agreement has been signed is not known.
With the deal, ESS will cover all international hockey test matches featuring the Indian team played in India, for the next five years. ESS will also have rights for global broadcast of at least five of these matches.
The International Hockey Federation-approved league will feature national and international players. The league will comprise of at least six franchised hockey teams, with 33 matches to be played in each edition.
Narinder Batra, secretary general and chairman, Hockey India League,said, “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 ESS will play a key role in our overall plans.”
On the professional hockey league, Batra added, “The proposed league (HIL) will be the biggest initiative that hockey has ever seen in India. We have been working out the details for months now and I am glad to announce that things are quickly falling into place. I am confident that our partners ESS will help us deliver a flawless world class product.”
Peter Hutton, managing director, ESS, said, “Hockey is close to our heart 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.”