The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) entered into a partnership agreement with Astro Arena today to bring domestic leagues and international tournaments to a wider pool of television viewers.

Under the agreement, MHC has appointed Astro Arena as its broadcast and distribution rights partner for MHC hockey events. Furthermore, Astro Arena will also be the co-sponsor of all Malaysian National Hockey teams.

MHC President, Dato’ Sri Subahan Kamal, signed the agreement on behalf of the national governing body while Mr. Lee Choong Khay, Vice-President, Sports Business Content Group, ASTRO, represented Malaysia’s leading content and consumer group.

The event was witnessed by MHC Honorary President, HRH Tengku Abdullah ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, who is also the President of Asian Hockey Federation, MHC executive board members and distinguished guests.

Astro Arena, under the agreement, targets to invest approximately RM60 million over a period of eight years from 2015 to 2023. The investment covers the broadcast and sponsorship fees, as well as production and marketing costs.

Through this partnership agreement, Astro will have access to almost every hockey match in Malaysia, including all the players and officials. This allows Astro to bring more hockey matches and better coverage to Malaysians and viewers in the region.

One of the main objectives of this partnership is to increase the number of production hours so that viewers will get wider and better coverage of the local hockey leagues and tournaments, among which include the TNBMHL, Tun Abdul Razak Cup, National Junior League, Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy and Sultan of Johor Cup.

The 2015 TNBMHL, recent 8th Men’s Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan, Pahang, semi-finals and final of the 2015 Razak Cup were aired LIVE on Astro.

In return, MHC will have access to the entire Astro platform to promote and market the sport. Both parties will also work together to monetise the sport in terms of sponsorships.

Subahan, said: “The year 2015 marks an important chapter for MHC in our journey towards the development of the game in domestic and international tournaments held in Malaysia, bringing hockey to a wider television audience.

“Since June, MHC has embarked in creating several new avenues and channels for the betterment of Malaysian hockey. MHC unveiled a four-year Blue Print that includes a Memorandum of Understanding with Hockey Australia aimed at Malaysia’s qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, our collaboration with TNB and now with Astro Arena,” he said.

However, Subahan added that much of the work completed by MHC in setting a new direction for the national teams and domestic leagues is owed mainly to the dedication and untiring efforts of HRH Tengku Abdullah ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, the Honorary President of MHC. His solid support is greatly appreciated.

Lee said, “Astro Arena has been championing Malaysian sports since the launch of the channel in 2010. Partnerships with national sports bodies have seen a tremendous rise in viewership and popularity of many local sports including football, sepaktakraw, badminton and very many more.”

“Hockey has a long tradition in Malaysia dating back to pre-independence days and truly deserves a larger audience. As the broadcast partner of MHC, Astro Arena is committed to increase the production of local hockey content utilising best-in-class production technologies such as High Definition pictures and ultra-motion that will transform the viewing experiences of hockey matches for fans”, said Lee.

He added that Astro Arena sees itself as more than just a broadcast partner and sponsor, but as MHC’s partner to spur development plans that will improve the quality of play and create a larger pool of local talent for hockey in Malaysia.

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