The BBC will cover all medal matches at the forthcoming EuroHockey Nations Championships 2007, to be held at Belle Vue in Manchester from 18th-26th August, ensuring the prestigious event both terrestrial and digital coverage. The biennial event, which offers direct qualification for the Beijing Olympic Games next year, will feature eight teams competing in each of the men’s and women’s Championships, vying for the three top places which will ensure qualification.
The Men’s and Women’s finals and bronze medal matches will be televised live on BBC via the interactive ‘red button’ facility, available to digital subscribers. In addition to this the BBC will also broadcast a one-hour highlights compilation programme on the August Bank Holiday Monday, the day after the tournament finishes. Sunset + Vine, the global production company, will act as host broadcaster for the event.
The BBC coverage will be fronted by two world renowned commentators – Barry Davies and Seoul 1988 Olympic hockey gold medallist Sean Kerly. Davies, commentating on that memorable Olympic final, famously said after England’s third goal against Germany: “Where were the Germans, but frankly who cares?”
Barry Snellgrove, Marketing and Communications Director for England Hockey, commented: “It is vital to have the support of the BBC as part of the sport’s longer-term Olympic aspirations. The EuroHockey Nations Championships is one of the biggest hockey events in the world and the BBC coverage will go a long way to maximising its audience, and this deal is another example of the enormous strides which hockey has taken over the past few years.”
Michael Cole, Deputy Editor of BBC SPORT, added: “The BBC is delighted to be able to bring EuroHockey Nations Championships to UK viewers. It promises to be a fascinating spectacle for sporting fans from all over the world and with the added incentive of Olympic qualification it should provide great drama less than a year before the Beijing Games.”
Second in terms of size only to the World Cup, the EuroHockey Nations Championships welcome eight of the world’s best men’s and women’s teams with the top three sides in each category gaining qualification to next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
Tickets can be bought through the tournament website – www.eurohockeymanchester2007.com
photos Janos Schmidt