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2013 will signal a new era for the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) following its partnership with FOX SPORTS Australia.
A deal between the national league for Australian ice hockey and FOX SPORTS - made in the 2012-2013 off-season - will see a 60-minute game of the week aired on FOX SPORTS, broadcasted to a national audience. The series will immediately follow live National Hockey League (NHL) games, beginning April 25th and run through September.
“This partnership marks a giant step forward for the Australian Ice Hockey League,” AIHL commissioner Robert Bannerman said.
“It will showcase our star players and the fast, hard-hitting action of Australian ice hockey to more than 2.3 million households.”
Commissioners from the AIHL approached FOX SPORTS with a proposal to increase viewership of NHL games and grow the grassroots ice hockey community. Airing AIHL games was the cornerstone of the strategy. The unique content will ultimately drive FOX SPORTS viewership as well as introduce audiences to the Australian ice hockey fraternity.
“The deal aims to increase awareness, improve the fan experience and foster a community of passionate social fans,” Mr. Bannerman said.
Mr. Bannerman said this venture will particularly appeal to the 18 to 34-year-old age demographic as well as families across the country.
Ice hockey membership in Australia has grown more than 40% nationally since 2008, making it one of the fastest growing team sports in the country. Attendance at AIHL games has grown more than 25% each year since 2008. Many matches exceed 2,000 attendees, with many more watching online.
The program on FOX SPORTS will include AIHL highlights, news from around the league and state associations, and a featured AIHL game. The eight AIHL teams will be showcased, including the Adelaide Adrenaline, Melbourne Ice, Melbourne Mustangs, Sydney Ice Dogs, Sydney Bears, Newcastle North Stars, Canberra Knights and the Perth Thunder.
For more information contact Deputy Commissioner Alex Lata at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0420 788 330.
Press release taken from the AIHL website for further information click here