Apr 15, 2012

Live TV coverage necessary for hockey promotion

Before any hockey tournament starts, Indian hockey fans just have one question, "Will the fans be able to watch the tournament live on TV?" and most of the time, answer to this question is "NO".

KPS Gill led Indian Hockey Federation was dissolved due to corruption charges but during their reign, a hockey fan would rarely miss a tournament on TV. Nearly all the tournaments played were shown live on TV. But, since Hockey India came into power, the scene has been totally different, It is rare that a hockey fan is able to watch the tournament lie on TV and the fans have to resort to internet links and next day's newspapers to check the score.

The popularity of hockey has declined considerably in last two decades and will continue to do so, if the fans are unable to watch their favorite players in action. One of the main reasons for the declining popularity among Indian sports fans is lack of hockey action on TV. Ask sports manager, the most important thing for promotion of every sport is the TV relay of the tournaments but Hockey India and Government of India who has spent Rs. 18 crores and hired Rs. 30 lac CEO for promotion and marketing failed to understand this.

After the success of Indian team in the Olympics qualifiers, the popularity of hockey is increasing and Hockey India needs to tap the potential and they even had a great chance to do so, when Indian women went to play four nations hockey tournament in New Zealand. Netherlands, where hockey is second favorite now, has done same thing of promoting hockey. When the popularity of hockey was low in Netherlands, the national hockey board, paid TV channels to show hockey games live on TV. They selected a slot that was just before prime-time and that helped in promoting the game. Even in India, the TRP ratings of World Series Hockey was more than the combined TRP ratings of EPL and F1 race. Hockey in India has great potential but the officials governing the sport needs to understand this.

There will be another great chance for Hockey India to promote the game when India participates in Olympics Hockey Test Event starting May 2 and featuring top three teams in the world Australia, Germany and Great Britain. Hockey India should grab this opportunity by both the hands and do everything in their power to show the games live on TV.

It is high time that Hockey India officials understand that in order to increase the popularity of hockey, the games have to be shown live on TV or else the national game of India will always be in the back of the minds of the masses.

As a hockey worshiper, I have missed many great encounters due to lack to live TV relay of hockey tournaments. In last two years I am written (mailed) to everyone from Broadcasting Ministry, Sports Ministry, Hockey India to all the sports channels and asked/requested them to relay hockey matches live on TV but never succeeded. This year too, I am going to write to everyone and request them to show hockey matches on TV with a hope that this year will be different than last year.


A message for FIH: Dear FIH we all know about the popularity of hockey in the world and your step of charging fans to watch hockey matches online might fill your coffers but won't help the popularity of hockey. What is more important you you, filling up your coffers or getting more hockey fans?


  1. fully agree it would be a mater of time if they telecast live on T.V and same time if they could conduct a tournamat  in INDIA which includes team like Pakistan, Argentine , Spain ,Korea Malaysia ..etc..and INDIA wins that then media and HI will know how big Hockey is perhaps they think hockey is stuff with which they can play aorun ..

  2. Do we get to see this event on television ?? please update if any body has any clue...

  3. hi there i request hockey india to bring the olympic test hockey event all the matches live which is starting on 2nd may