Viacom18 has become the official broadcast partner for the first season of the Indian Premier Handball League ©Viacom18

Viacom18 has secured the broadcast rights to show the inaugural season of the Indian Premier Handball League (PHL).

The Mumbai-based media company is set to provide multi-platform coverage of the PHL, with matches scheduled to be held at prime time on JioCinema, Sports and Sports 18 Khel.

The agreement comes after efforts from Bluesport Entertainment, Handball Association India, and South Asian Handball Federation.

Viacom18 has recently been granted exclusive media rights for next year's Olympic Games in Paris across India and the Asian subcontinent.

It has also secured broadcast deals in cricket as it is set to show the Indian Premier League and Women’s Premier League from 2023 to 2027.

The opening season of the PHL - India’s first professional league - is due to run from June 8 to 25 and feature six teams.

Each squad will consist of 17 players, with 14 from India and three foreign imports.

The six teams will go up against each other in a round-robin format consisting of 30 matches, followed by three knockout fixtures to determine the ultimate champion.

The Premier Handball Premier is expected to boost participation and popularity of the sport in India ©Getty Images
The Premier Handball Premier is expected to boost participation and popularity of the sport in India ©Getty Images

The 33 matches are set to be spread over 18 days, with each team playing a minimum of 10 games.

Anandeshwar Pandey, secretary general of the South Asian Handball Federation, believes the PHL will provide a "much-needed push Indian handball has needed for years" and boost participation and the 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," said Pandey.

"I am sure the league will grow rapidly as it is set to produce the star athletes of tomorrow for Indian fans to support."

Bluesport President Abhinav Banthia added: "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."