Members of the Indian hockey team celebrating a win(PTI)
Members of the Indian hockey team celebrating a win(PTI)

FIH inks deal to bring hockey to fan’s phones

Hockey lovers can access match videos, results, scores and even archival material on a special app and website
Mumbai | By B Shrikant
UPDATED ON MAY 28, 2020 10:56 PM IST

Here is some good news for hockey fans struggling to stay updated on games played outside their country. They can soon access match videos, results, scores and even archived material on a special app and website and even watch live matches played anywhere in the world.

The international hockey federation (FIH) has inked a 10-year partnership with NAGRA, a Kudelski Group company and the world’s leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen video solutions, to provide all digital content related to hockey on one platform.

According to the deal, NAGRA will put together a full digital offering for FIH, which will include an OTT platform, a native app for mobile and smart TVs featuring live scores and streaming and launch a new corporate website with added features and sections to showcase live scores and streaming matches.

“This partnership will mean the next step for FIH and hockey. This will take our entire OTT and digital presence of FIH to the next level. This new OTT platform will become the new home of hockey as every fan will go there to get updates and authentic information of matches all over the world,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil said in an online media briefing.

The new service will be launched simultaneously with the resumption of live international matches - the FIH Pro League being its initial beneficiary. “This (new digital platform) will have streaming of course but will have lot of editorial parts and data - we have collected lot of data over the last 20 years and we still do. We currently don’t use them but this data will be available for fans. The new partnership will also provide IT solutions to FIH, continental federations, national associations and clubs with a centralised management service,” Weil added.

The new platform will have live matches, replays, highlights, videos, archives, news, articles, live scores, results, and statistics, as well as innovative social sharing functionality where fans and participants can capture and share instant moments online.

With the novel coronavirus forcing suspension of sports activities around the world since March, fans have been forced to scourge the digital world for even archival content. The FIH took cue from this sudden surge in demand for digital content and engaged in this partnership with NAGRA as a result.

Asked how this new partnership will help the sport financially, the FIH informed that some of the features will require a paid subscription. The fees will remain within the normal range applied for such services. “The primary aim of the platform is to offer a great service to the global hockey community, including all hockey fans. The generated revenue will be good for hockey since it will contribute to funding the ongoing development of the sport globally,” it said.

Asked why they chose hockey which is not a top sport in the regions where NAGRA has its presence, Jean-Luc Jezouin, SVP Sales Development, said hockey has great visibility, the federation is well organised and has a desire to take the game closer to the audience. “NAGRA’s cloud-based video content management technologies and services and drive for innovative business transformation will enable the FIH to deliver a new level of engagement for the sport and provide hockey fans with an unmatched experience.”

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