World Series Hockey is back for its second edition, bigger and better!
The tournament will now have 45 matches played over 5 weeks, as opposed to 59 matches over the same period in the first edition. There will be one match a day on weekdays and two matches a day on the weekends. The weekday match begins at 8 pm and the two weekend matches start at 6 pm and 8 pm respectively.
This spread ensures that players get adequate rest between games and top-notch hockey is guaranteed from start to finish.
The number of teams in the competition now stands at seven, with Chandigarh Comets and Sher-e-Punjab united into one Punjab team. This will ensure undivided support for the team, with matches played across multiple venues in Punjab.
Speaking about the changes, Sunil Manocha, President, Nimbus Sport said, “The first season of World Series Hockey saw 32 million tune-ins on television, had 350,000+ spectators walk in through the gates and garnered over 10 million impressions across our digital properties.
It was a resounding success on-air, on-ground and on-line and WSH 2 will only get better with its enhanced player, media and fan friendly format.
One of the key improvements basis research evidence is the choice of the 8 pm start for a majority of matches in WSH 2. This is in sync with television ratings for season 1, which saw maximum eyeballs in the 8-9 pm slot.”
RK Shetty, President, Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), added, “After the first season, we sat down in consultation with our key stakeholders and arrived at solutions for taking World Series Hockey to the next level.
To begin with, our top players revealed that minimal breaks between matches were affecting performance and so we decided to spread the schedule around with one match a day on weekdays as opposed to two. A double header on the weekends will ensure maximum entertainment.
We had also received feedback from the media and fans that earlier starts would be preferable, and this has been taken into account as well. Weekend games in WSH 2 will have 6 pm and 8 pm start times. The early starts means the media can file stories ahead of deadlines and allow for spectators to have better access to public transport in smaller cities.
As far as the Punjab teams are concerned, we realized Punjab was too patriotic a market to be split. One team will ensure a huge following.”
World Series Hockey