The International Hockey Federation has announced that it has agreed to a five-year media rights partnership with Belgian broadcaster Telenet, which will see them broadcast all of Belgium’s matches in the Hockey Pro League through to 2022.
Not only will Telenet act as the host broadcaster for all 16 matches played each year by the Red Lions (Belgium men) and the Red Panthers (Belgium women) in the revolutionary home and away competition, they will also deliver full visibility across multiple platforms for all 144 Pro League matches as well as the showpiece Grand Final events.
Speaking about this partnership, FIH TV and Broadcast Director Andy Oram said: “Belgium is one of the strongest nations in the Hockey Pro League and this partnership with Telenet further enhances our global strategy to deliver World Class production and content. This partnership is an important step for FIH in order to bring this game-changing new competition to sports fans across the world.”
“We are delighted to be continuing our productive working relationship with Telenet. They have made a significant contribution to hockey in recent years and will remain key players in helping to aid hockey’s continued growth at what is a very exciting time for the sport,” he added.
Manu Leroy, Director Sports at Telenet, said: “We are delighted to extend and strengthen our cooperation with the FIH over the next five years. In particular, we are excited about the upcoming Hockey Pro League where both our Red Lions and Red Panthers will be able to compete at the highest international level in stadiums across the globe for six months each year. We are convinced that the Hockey Pro League will provide a major boost to hockey, taking it to the next level not only in Belgium but across the world.”
The inaugural season of the Hockey Pro League begins on 19 January 2019, where Spain’s men will play host to Belgium. 144 matches are scheduled to take place between January and June, with national stadiums hosting matches week in, week out.
Nine women’s and nine men’s teams will be competing for the Hockey Pro League title, playing eight home and eight away matches throughout the first six months of every year. The top four teams will then compete to determine the winner in a Grand Final later in June.
The Hockey Pro League features an equally amazing line-up of nations, with both the Women’s and Men’s Leagues featuring a glittering array of the finest international hockey teams on earth. The Women’s League will see Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA all going head to head, while Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain will be fighting it out for the men’s title.