Hockey: TV deal delivered

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The Independent Online
HOCKEY in the past has suffered greatly from too little television exposure, writes Bill Colwill. That, however, is due to change as the Hockey Association announced yesterday a deal with BSkyB to put top domestic hockey on television for the coming season.

Realising the cost of outside broadcast units, hockey has become the first sport to take the game to the television cameras. A leading game each week will be taken to Birmingham University's ground where it will be filmed by the University's television unit and transmitted on Sky in an hour-long programme on Tuesday evenings, with possibly two repeat spots.

The 23-week package begins on 12 October, which coincides with the start of the Pizza Express National League season. Keith Rowe, the manager of champions Hounslow, welcomed the news: 'A tremendous boost for hockey,' he said. 'It could not be turned down. The clubs must make it a success.'

Hockey's events manager, Nick Irvine, said: 'Television is such a powerful medium we must make it work.'