The Indian media broadcasting firm, Viacom18 has acquired media rights for the Premier Handball League‘s (PHL) debut season, according to a recent announcement by Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. JioCinema, Sports 18-1 (HD & SD), and Sports 18 Khel will provide coverage of the competition.
The Premier Handball League will hold its maiden season from June 8 to June 25, 2023. India is the upcoming major handball destination, according to the International Handball Federation. Viacom18 will broadcast the Premier Handball League during peak time from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm in an attempt to help the operations of Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Handball Association India, and South Asian Handball Federation.
Along with PHL, the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be aired by Viacom18 from season 2023 to 2027 on all major television networks and online. In addition, Viacom18 is the Indian Premier League (IPL)’s digital broadcaster for the same time frame. Additionally, JioCinema attracted 32 million viewers in the final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, setting a record for digital viewership in India for a major sporting event.
Since JioCinema remained the most popular free app downloaded on iOS and Android during the tournament, India had one of the top digital viewership markets for the FIFA World Cup with over 110 million viewers.
The first professional handball league in India is called the Premier Handball League. The Asian Handball Federation and the International Handball Federation supported the first-of-its-kind competition, which is affiliated with the South Asian Handball Federation.
Six teams will compete against one another in a round-robin structure for 30 matches in the initial season, with three knockout matches to decide the overall winner. Each side will play a minimum of 10 matches over the 33 games, which will be spread out over 18 days. Each team will have 17 players, with 14 Indian players and three foreign players.
Handball is widely regarded as the fastest Olympic sport, and it is very popular at the grassroots level in India. The Handball Association India’s immense efforts have made handball popular among amateur players. They have made sure that the national team’s standing has risen steadily on the international stage.
Abhinav Banthia, President of Bluesport, said, “India is growing exponentially as a sporting nation. Handball has a very strong presence in the country, especially at the grassroots level. Our thought behind the Premier Handball League was to help utilise the popularity of the sport by giving it a platform that will amplify sports traction in India. We are glad to onboard Viacom18 as the official broadcast partner, as we believe they will help us package this competition ingeniously so that this unique league becomes relatable for fans. Overall, we believe if you package speed, strength, stamina, agility, technical precision, skill, teamwork and fast-paced action, you come to Handball, and a league for Handball will turn out to be the leading indoor sports league in this country very soon.”
Dr. Anandeshwar Pandey, Secretary General of the South Asian Handball Federation, said, “The Premier Handball League will provide the much-needed push Indian Handball has needed for years. It will also help to direct the spotlight on Handball not only in India, but all of South Asia, which I am sure will help boost participation and popularity of the sport. The Premier Handball League has all the necessary elements to be a highly successful competition, especially now that they have announced Viacom18 as a broadcast partner. I am sure the league will grow rapidly as it is set to produce the star athletes of tomorrow for Indian fans to support.”