Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hockey India League return would benefit players and profile of the sport

You only have to delve deep into the runaway success on and off the field of cricket’s Indian Premier League, as well as the franchise additions across other leagues and sports, to understand how important the competition has become in India – and across the globe.

The Hockey India League was conceived a decade ago, disbanded in 2017 and now (after murmurings of a return in 2019) firmly back on the agenda this week as Hockey India announced a commercial partner to firm up franchises, look for a title sponsor and put HIL back on the map.

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  1. Everyone should welcome the return of Hockey India League as it will boost the sport.
    However, the project will require careful deliberations before launch. I can already see several problems on the horizon-
    1 In the statement released by Hockey India, they say that in this new version they want to focus on areas where hockey is popular. This could be a problem since hockey is popular in areas which are among the poorest in India. To attain success like the IPL or the Indian football league or the Indian kabaddi league, franchises from main cities is a must.
    If the new Hockey India league is set up as they say, it may get good crowd for stadium audiences but terrible television ratings and that will doom the project.
    2 Hockey India could try to reduce costs by reducing the quality of competition by inviting fewer foreign players. That will drastically reduce the visibility of the project and make long time survival hard.

    In the end, it all comes down to TV ratings, the last version of Hockey India League had bad ratings. So, something different will have to be done to increase ratings in a highly crowded sports tv environment.


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