The last time that the Indian field hockey team won an Olympic gold medal was in 1980. Up until that time, the team had won eight Olympic golds.. This means that for the past 30 years, Indian hockey simply has not been able to compete, and win, on an international level.
Rupert Murdoch’s television entertainment business, Star India Pvt. Ltd. has announced that the company will be investing some money into the sport for the next eight years. In order to help with the development of hockey in India, the company has pledged to spend Rs. 1,500 crore.
Star India has already formed a partnership with the International Hockey Federation. The company will be distributing and broadcasting both Indian hockey events, and international hockey events for eight years. The starting date is January 2015.
The head of sports business at Star India, Nitin Kukreja, said: “We are putting money where our mouth is. Hockey has the potential for growth. We believe that a vibrant local league, international events in India, including the 2018 World Hockey Cup, world-class production and coverage are essential to popularize the sport and help nurture future champions.”
In order to ensure that the sport is seen around the world, Star Sports and Hockey India partnered for the first season and launched and broadcast the Hockey India League to a large number of locations. The leagues is now in its second year and will once again be broadcast widely.
The matches will also be streamed on Starsports.com. The games will be filmed with a number of different cameras to catch different angles of the games played. The league will be shown on Star Sports channels in both Hindi and English.
Kukreja said: “For the first season of the Hockey League, we had 41 million viewers tuning in. We see that the numbers are growing.”
It is hoped that this sponsorship will infuse new life and energy into Indian hockey.