Since cricket properties are at large, sports channels in India are banking on non-cricket properties these days.
After ESPN's PHL, Ten Sports has recently acquired the telecast rights for two mega international hockey tournaments.
The channel has signed a contract with the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the world governing body for hockey. The contract includes the rights in the Indian sub-continent for both the men's and women's World Cup to be held in Monchengladbach (Germany) and Madrid (Spain) in September 2006, as well as the men's and women's Champions Trophy till year 2008.
Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj Television, owners of Ten Sports, says, "Hockey has a massive following in the sub-continent and is easily the most popular sport after cricket."
Ten Sports executives are of the opinion that with the channel airing these international hockey tournaments, the sports will get the exposure and encouragement that it had been searching for in recent years, which in turn would help bring in both mass appeal and support for the game.
McDonald says, "With guaranteed television coverage for the next four years and a young national side keen to reclaim its place in the international standings, Indian hockey could be undoubtedly on the upswing in the years to come."
The Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy for men will be played in Chennai, India, this year from December 10-18, while the women's Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy is scheduled for November 26-December 4 in Canberra, Australia. In August 2005, Ten Sports will also telecast the eight-Nations Invitational tournament from Amstelveen (Holland). © 2005 agencyfaqs!