Thursday, November 30, 2023

Dutch club hockey can do more to market game to global audience

Our regular Hockey Social series delves into talking points, player Q&As and opinions from the world of hockey

“It’s like the Dutch don’t want to share it with the rest of the world.” The message was loud and clear on a recent episode of The Reverse Stick, the self-billed global hockey podcast.

World hockey’s top domestic league certainly has a formidable product. It has crowds attending the Hoofdklasse top men’s and women’s leagues, both service provider Ziggo and Dutch broadcaster NOS cover live matches, while the national association provides consistently good content and output.

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  1. What a strange argument. The commercial value of sports rights is achieved through limiting access, and making people pay for that access. Who would accuse Sky Sports for ‘hiding’ live Formula One races; and who would accuse BT Sport of ‘hiding’ Champions League football?! It is an absurd suggestion.
    The commercial value of the ‘Hoofdklasse’ lies squarely in Holland, and even there is is very small. Very few people will pay Ziggo solely on the basis of its’ access to hockey; and the NOS produces content purely for the (small) Dutch market. the NOS services are paid for by the Dutch tax payers in the same way the BBC is. The difference being that SKY; Virgin; BT etc clearly do not see value in giving British people access to a Dutch channel – why would they?! The Dutch TV providers DO see value in providing the BBC in Holland.
    This is a purely commercial decision, and sadly hockey does not really feature very highly in sport’s commercial landscape. The market is not big enough; the game is too complicated; very few teams have appeal beyond the boundaries of the sport etc etc. To suggest that TV companies should provide free recording services and access to broadcast because some people who like hockey want them to is silly.
    And on the subject of travel packages. If there was genuinely a market for this, then travel companies would have jumped on it. The EHL tends to generate a few handfuls of British attendants, but it is a multi day event with some event organisation around it. You can see more than one game etc


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