BT Sport claims 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy rights

BT Sport will be the host broadcaster of the Hockey Champions Trophies in the UK as part of a new deal agreed with the International Hockey Federation.

The prestigious Hockey Champions Trophy tournaments come to London in June and will see Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams taking on the best in the world before the Rio Olympics.

BT Sport will broadcast 18 Men’s Champions Trophy matches from Lee Valley between June 10-17 and 18 Women’s Champions Trophy matches between June 18-26, with a total of 36 hours of coverage for each competition.

The trophies feature only top-flight, premier international teams and this year’s tournaments act as a key warm-up to the 2016 Olympics.

The six team, round-robin events include sides who earned their place based on performance in the previous Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge.

This year’s line-up includes Australia, Belgium, India, Germany, South Korea, as well as Great Britain in the men’s competition, while the women’s contest will feature Australia, Argentina, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA and Great Britain.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this impressive event, ahead of the Olympics, that demonstrates all the excitement of hockey.

“Hockey continues to grow and we think this is just the beginning.

“We hope to further boost the popularity of hockey by showing this prestigious tournament on BT Sport and to help further increase the number of armchair supporters as well as spectators at matches.”

Kelly Fairweather, CEO FIH, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to further strengthen our positive relationship with BT Sport as they look to make their channel the home of hockey in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“Our partnership extends beyond these territories however as they get set to become host broadcaster for the upcoming Hockey Champions Trophies in London – the last stop before the Rio Olympic Games.”

“BT Sport’s innovative approach to broadcasting is set to revolutionise the way sports fans watch hockey.

“Their ambition to grow the sport by providing world class production is very much in line with the Hockey Revolution – our ten-year strategy aimed at making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.

“We look forward to working together with the common goal of engaging with and inspiring millions more sports fans around the world as a direct result of an improved viewing experience.”

England Hockey Chief Executive, Sally Munday, commented: “The announcement is another positive step for hockey and provides a great platform to showcase our entertaining, action-packed sport at the start of an Olympic summer.

“The Hockey Champions Trophies will help engender support for the Great Britain teams and inspire the public to play hockey.

“We’re looking forward to building hockey’s relationship with BT Sport and welcoming fans to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre for our exciting programme of international events.”

In addition to the 2016 Champions Trophy tournaments, BT Sport will also cover the Hockey Junior World Cups in the year.

Held every four years, the events are a platform for young players to show their raw skills on the international hockey scene.

BT Sport will screen the Junior World Cup for women between 23 November and 4 December in Chile and the men’s Junior World Cup in India taking place from 1-11 December.