SuperSport International has concluded an exclusive five year deal to broadcast selected matches from the Premier Hockey League (PHL) – The South African Hockey Association’s (SAHA’s) new elite hockey competition, which launches in September 2016.
For the 2016 event, 24 of the 40 PHL games, including all semi-finals and both finals, will be broadcast live across all SuperSport platforms, including television, mobile and online – throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. A further eight PHL games will be streamed exclusively live via the SuperSport website and will be repeated, on a delayed basis, on selected SuperSport broadcast channels.
“This is a very exciting moment for hockey in South Africa and is a key part of the SA Hockey Revolution strategy that we launched a few months ago. We are grateful for SuperSport’s investment and commitment to growing the sport over the next five years.” said Marissa Langeni, CEO of SAHA.
SuperSport’s Gideon Khobane, Chief Executive Officer, added: “This is a watershed moment for SA hockey and we are delighted to be a part of it. Hockey is fast and action-packed; perfect television fare. We look forward to seeing hockey reach new heights and enhance the SuperSport viewing experience.”
Thanks to support and investment from the Department of Sport & Recreation, the inaugural PHL event will be hosted at the Randburg Astro, Johannesburg and will consist of both a men’s and women’s league that will run over four weekend’s – from Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 25th September 2016 (inclusive).
The PHL forms a key part of the SAHA high performance pipeline which is aimed at better equipping our national men’s and women’s teams for international competition in future. To this end the PHL will be the very first Hockey League in the world where all the women participating will be paid to play the game.
How the PHL Works:
The inaugural event consists of six men’s teams and six women’s teams, respectively, playing in two gender based competitions. These teams are all franchise teams that are 100% owned by SAHA.
The team identities have been inspired by famous tourist areas in South Africa and are representative of all nine Provinces. The team names are as follows:
– Men: Every Sun Addo Elephants, Drakensburg Dragons, Garden Route Gazelles, Golden Gate Gladiators, Mapungubwe Mambas and the Maropeng Cavemen.
– Women: Blyde River Bunters, Madikwe Rangers, Lip Ice Namaqualand Daisies, Orange River Rafters, Young Solutions St Lucia Lakers and the Wineland Wings.
In 2016, two of the twelve participating teams will be the SA u21 Men’s and SA u21 Women’s National teams, respectively. This is to prepare our national age group teams for the FIH Junior World Cups which take place later this year. The SA u21 Men’s team will play as the Golden Gate Gladiators and the SA u21 Women’s team will play as the Lip Ice Namaqualand Daisies.
Event Structure and Format:
The event consists of a league stage and a play-off stage where each team will play each other once in the league stage. This means each team will play five games.
At the end of the league stage, the teams who finish fifth and sixth in the log, will have a play-off to determine who places fifth and sixth in league. The top four teams in the log will progress to the semi-finals. The losing semi-finalists will play-off for third and fourth respectively and the winning semi-finalists will progress to the finals of the men’s and women’s competitions.