New Delhi: Hockey India has entered into a multi-year broadcast agreement with sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports for the telecast of the Test matches to be played in the country for the next five years and the soon-to-be-launched Hockey India League (HIL).
In a multi-year deal, ESPN STAR Sports has been granted global telecast rights for the professional hockey league.
The FIH approved league will see national as well as international hockey stars showcase their prowess. The first edition of the league is expected to be played in the month of January next year.
ESPN STAR will now telecast Test matches to be played in the country for the next five years and the soon-to-be-launched Hockey India League (HIL).
The league will comprise at least six franchise hockey teams and will feature 33 matches to be played across the country.
All teams will play each other on a home and away basis (30 league matches) followed by the semi-finals and the final.
Hockey India further announced that ESPN STAR Sports will have 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 international opposition could go up depending on the finalisation of the series schedule.
"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 Secretary General and Hockey India League Chairman Dr Narinder Batra said.
"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 ESPN STAR Sports will help us deliver a flawless world class product."