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IHF signs three-year deal with ESPN-Star

June 07, 2005 13:11 IST
Last Updated: June 07, 2005 14:38 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation signed a three-year deal with ESPN-Star sports for telecasting all international matches to be played in the country.

Under the contract, the sports channel will broadcast and market the "IHF Hockey Package," which includes 102 international matches over the next three years.

Any other hockey tournament, which the IHF launches during this period will also fall under the contract and will be beamed by the channel, ESPN-Star Sports announced on Tuesday.

Leisure Sports Management (LSM), the marketing agency of IHF, facilitated the deal.

"We are looking at growing the game's popularity in a very systematic manner. Last year we launched PHL. This year we are taking a holistic approach to market the national team and international hockey better," IHF President K P S Gill told reporters in New Delhi.

"The entire process of scheduling and then showcasing the hockey tournaments is being systematised. Carrying the process further, we will release the names of countries visiting India well in advance, which will help in better marketing and selling of the tournaments," he added.

R C Venkatesh, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. said, "With PHL we have proven that TV-Federation partnerships can be the way to popularise games.

"The coming together of the same teams in IHF, LSM and ESPN-Star Sports we are ready to duplicate our success. We will be able to leverage the overall increase of live and non-live hockey programming on our networks both for marketing hockey and for selling it to advertisers," he said.

"Our role in this deal will be more than mere telecasting. Besides continuing to innovate on our current hockey telecast, we will market the hockey players and the sport better.

"We will leverage our relationships with IHF and hockey players by integrating the discipline much more into our overall marketing programmes."

IHF also announced the tentative schedule of the teams, which will be visiting India over the year.

Teams, which might visit India will include South Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Germany.

The channel said the telecast of 102 international matches includes a five-Test series against arch-rivals Pakistan over the next three years.

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