FIH media-rights income neared CHF4m in 2018

Match ball with logo prior to Women's FIH Field Hockey Pro League match in April 2019 (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for FIH)

Broadcast rights income accounted for CHF3.94m (€3.74m/$4.08m) – or 29 per cent – of the total 2018 operating income of CHF13.54m at the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), according to recently-submitted accounts.

The accounts, which have been audited by Ernst & Young, show that broadcast rights income rose from CHF2.98m in 2017 and remained the Lausanne-based federation’s chief non-Olympic revenue stream.

Hosting fees and sponsorship brought in CHF2.19m and CHF1.85m, respectively. The remaining non-Olympic revenues in 2018 comprised CHF955,587 in manufacturers’ licensing fees, CHF47,452 in members’ affiliation fees and CHF416,686 in ‘other income’.

An allocation of CHF3.86m in Olympic revenues was lodged in 2018, plus CHF269,868 in other contributions from the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC pays out its Olympic money to international federations every four years. The FIH then allocates income across a four-year period from its own Olympic Games reserve fund.

The IOC distributes revenue to international federations in different tiers based on their audience and size. Following of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by 12 months, many federations are faced with cash flow issues and are looking for advance payments from the IOC.

A loss of CHF313,364 was suffered by the FIH following costs of CHF748,560 incurred for the new Pro League, the national teams competition that began in 2019.

A note accompanying the 2018 accounts reads: “With the investments needed to create this competition, it was not foreseen to have a positive financial result substantial or even a break-even in year one.

“Unfortunately, TV production costs were underestimated while, at the same time, revenues from broadcasting deals were overestimated. This has led to the situation that the FIH shows a negative result in 2018 and an important negative result in 2019. Several structural and financial measures have been decided and taken to remediate this situation.”

The breakdown of the Pro League costs in 2018 included CHF272,500 in payroll costs, CHF168,377 in events costs and CHF94,087 in ‘TV and broadcast’ costs.

The FIH recently extended the 2020 edition of the Pro League through to June 2021 because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The second season of the men’s and women’s international teams tournament was originally scheduled to run from January to June 2020.

Announcing the move last month, the FIH said that it gives the “best possible chance for this edition of the competition to be completed while enabling FIH and all national associations to deliver on broadcast and commercial partner agreements”.