Hockey will now be broadcast for longer and more often thanks to a number of broadcast deals agreed around the world, facilitated by FIH in cooperation with Media Partner Star Sports.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, BT Sport came on board to broadcast over 200 hours of coverage from the Hockey World League Finals in India and Argentina late last year. FIH has been working closely with BT to make the channel the home of hockey in the territory. Since last year's Finals, BT has broadcast England Hockey's Super 6s at Wembley with plans afoot to broadcast much more hockey in 2016 and beyond.
Astro Arena is another broadcaster to have shown considerable desire to increase the amount of hockey being shown on their channel across Malaysia and Brunei. They recently entered into a partnership agreement with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to bring domestic leagues and international tournaments to a wider pool of television viewers.
Under the agreement, MHC has appointed Astro Arena as its broadcast and distribution rights partner for MHC hockey events. Astro Arena, under the agreement, has committed to invest approximately RM60 million (approximately $14,451,406 USD) over a period of eight years from 2015 to 2023. The investment covers the broadcast and sponsorship fees, as well as production and marketing costs.
Through this partnership agreement, Astro will have access to almost every hockey match in Malaysia, including all the players and officials. This allows Astro to bring more hockey matches and better coverage to Malaysians and viewers in the region.
One of the main objectives of this partnership is to increase the number of production hours so that viewers will get wider and better coverage of the local hockey leagues and tournaments, among which include the TNBMHL, Tun Abdul Razak Cup, National Junior League, Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy and Sultan of Johor Cup.
These latest broadcast deals are key to achieving one of the Hockey Revolution's four big goals - to 'Build a recognised, power image for hockey'. This is being done through development of world-class TV production from FIH events and the consequent distribution to broadcast partners around the world.
England Hockey and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation have all played important roles in agreeing these deals and will continue to work with the broadcasters to develop ways in which to promote the sport of hockey within their territories.
In line with the FIH's Hockey Revolution, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) set a goal of bringing more top level hockey to viewers around the world through high quality broadcast productions. As part of this, the EHF and FIH have teamed up to bring live streaming from as many EuroHockey events as possible in 2016.
Already this year, several outdoor and indoor hockey events have been broadcast on the FIH YouTube channel. You can view them all by clicking here.
Speaking about this latest initiative, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: "The EHF are leading the way in helping us build a recognised, powerful image for hockey by increasing the quality and frequency of TV coverage of hockey events. Whilst this is excellent news for our current followers, initiatives like this are hugely important for engaging new fans who we hope will be inspired to pick up a stick and play hockey after watching the skill and excitement on display at such competitions."
EHF Director General, Angus Kirkland was also delighted to announce this new service, launched in January. He said: "I am really pleased that the EHF Executive Board has taken this huge leap forward so that we can launch our Live Streaming Project in 2016. We will be filming directly from six EuroHockey events during 2016 and in addition, with a partnership with our Local Organisations and the FIH, we can also stream other events via the FIH YouTube Channel. We will also be using the EHF Twitter feed (@eurohockeyorg) to tweet instant clips from our top events. We are very excited about this Project and believe that having more hockey shown live and with instant clips is what our fans want and expect from us in 2016."