Bangalore, 16 November, 2012: World Series Hockey (WSH) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) have decided to reschedule the second edition of World Series Hockey, India’s first multi city franchise-based hockey tournament.
WSH 1 was a resounding success on-air, on-ground and online. With an average TV weekly reach of 8.9 million, the league was three times bigger than the nearest non-cricket competitor in the same period, English Premier League (2.75 million) (Source: TAM, CS 4+)
There were packed stadiums with 350, 000 + walk-ins, 10,000 articles in key national and regional newspapers generating media value in excess of 100 crores, and 10 million impressions across WSH digital properties with live streaming on YouTube, a global first for hockey.
The decision to reschedule the dates of hockey’s biggest annual event was taken after a request made by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to the organizers of the Event. The IHF has been in discussions with players, participating coaches and match officials, all of whom have reiterated their commitment to play in World Series Hockey.
There are two significant matters which could potentially properly define and cement the status of the IHF as the sole and exclusive governing body for hockey in India:
1) The appointment of a transparent and progressive regime at the Indian Olympic Association in its elections later this month and
2) A favourable ruling / mediation by the FIH Judicial Commission (JC) on the matter of illegal disaffiliation of the IHF and illegal recognition of Hockey India as a member of the FIH. The JC hearing is currently ongoing
With both the above matters coming to a potential conclusion in the next few weeks, the IHF felt it appropriate to reschedule the path breaking WSH event.
Ashok Mathur, Honorary General Secretary, IHF, said: “It’s very sad that parties with vested interests seem to be focused on destroying hockey rather than helping it grow. The IHF has charted a very clear path for the reinvigoration of the sport of hockey in India, a path which began with the launch of the historic inaugural edition of World Series Hockey. Despite the setback caused by mismanagement of Hockey India culminating in India’s disastrous performance at the Olympics, the IHF is confident that we will continue to drive Indian Hockey to new successes once we are properly bestowed our authority as the exclusive governing body for the sport in India, a position we expect to obtain before the end of 2012”
Sunil Manocha, President, Nimbus Sport said: “We want to create a conducive environment for all our stakeholders including players, officials, fans and franchises. Currently, the petty politics around the sport isn’t allowing for this and is taking away from the reinvigoration of the sport of hockey in India. The IHF has already proposed two alternative sets of dates for the 2nd edition of WSH and we will take a decision on which one to go with after a meeting with all the stakeholders at the end of this month”
World Series Hockey