Mumbai: STAR India, the country's leading sports network Star Sports, on Thursday committed to invest in excess of Rs. 1500 crore in hockey over the next eight years in order to promote the game.
Nitin Kukreja, Head of Sports Business, STAR India, said, "Our aim is to transform the sporting landscape and imbibe a culture of multiple sports in India. Sports broadcasters in India have traditionally invested only in cricket but shied away from committing such heavy investments in other games.
"We are putting money where our mouth is. We believe hockey has potential for growth but needs certain key ingredients to come together. We believe that a vibrant local league, international events in India, including the 2018 Hockey World Cup, world class production coverage are essential ingredients to popularise the sport and help nurture future champions," he added.
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Star Sports is set to create a new global benchmark in hockey broadcasting with the telecast of the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL). Showcasing 'The New Face of Hockey', Star Sports has invested over Rs 100 crore in the promotion and production of the second edition of HIL, which starts on Saturday.
This is unprecedented investment by a broadcaster in any local league in the country with the exception of IPL.
Star Sports has hired International Management Group (IMG) to produce the second edition of HIL. Israel-based specialised sports agency Prometheus has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing cutting edge graphics suitable for hockey broadcast.
The broadcaster will use as many as 20 cameras for the very first time in the history of the sport for each and every match during the league.
Star Sports will be treating HIL at par with international cricket. The league will be showcased not only in English on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1 but will also be showcased in Hindi on Star Sports 3. Starsports.com will stream all matches live for hockey loving fans across the world.
There will be pre- and post-match shows as well.