afaqs! news bureau

ESS bags telecast rights for Hockey India League

ESPN-STAR Sports has acquired the rights for the league for five years. The league will debut in January 2013, with six franchise teams.

Hockey India has assigned ESPN-STAR Sports as the official global broadcaster of the upcoming Hockey India League (HIL) for the next five years.

ESS bags telecast rights for Hockey India League
The league is backed by the FIH (International Federation of Hockey). The deal also covers the five international hockey test matches held by Hockey India to be played in India, one each year.

The league, starting from January 2013, covers six franchise teams with 33 hockey matches (30 league matches, two semi finals and one final) to be played in the country. The number of matches played by India against the international oppositions will be decided after finalisation of the schedule.

In an official communiqué, Dr Narinder Batra, secretary general, Hockey India and chairman, Hockey India League, says, "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."

Peter Hutton, managing director, ESPN-STAR Sports, says, "We are delighted to have all international hockey test matches under Hockey India to be played in India on our network for a period of five years."

For the record, Neo Sports broadcast World Series Hockey earlier this year.

ESPN-STAR Sports is the 50:50 joint venture between two of the world's leading cable and satellite broadcasters, Walt Disney (ESPN Inc) and News Corporation Limited (STAR).

ESPN-STAR Sports' television networks include ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket, ESPNews, ESPN HD and STAR Cricket HD. The network also hosts a broadband network (ESPN player), digital content services (, mobileespn) and an on-ground event management arm.

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