ESPN Star Sports Secures Rights For Hockey India League
ESPN Star Sports has entered into a multi-year agreement for broadcast rights of the Hockey India League beginning in January, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. ESS inked the agreement with India's governing body for field hockey which "gives the broadcaster rights to all int'l hockey test matches" featuring the Indian team played in India. ESS will also have rights for global broadcast of at least five of these matches. Financial terms of the deal were not given. The HIL has been approved by the Int'l Hockey Federation. It will feature national and int'l players who will comprise at least six franchised hockey teams, with 33 matches to be played in each edition (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/31). The PTI reported that all teams will play each other on a home-and-away basis followed by the semifinals and final. The number of matches that India will play against top int'l opposition could go up "depending on the finalisation of the series schedule." Hockey India Secretary-General and HIL Chair Dr. Narinder Batra said, “The proposed league 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" (PTI, 7/30).