While TV contracts in major professional sports such as soccer or ice hockey involve millions to billions, in smaller sports it is primarily a matter of reaching a broader public with presence on national TV . Yes, despite all the social media, traditional TV is still crucial in this. Although the principle of “what’s important is on TV” has long ceased to apply, as a look at formats such as “The Bachelor” proves, the reverse is still true: “What’s on TV is important,” which applies to the players themselves, but also to fans and sponsors.

Floorball coverage on Swiss National TV SRF has changed massively in recent years. Older viewers still remember how Regula Späni began an introduction with the words “Dear parents, get your children into the living room, floorball is coming now”. Also legendary was the coverage of an “Emmental derby”, when the player portrayed put his pitchfork aside and set off for the game with his stick. Game scenes were always shown with background music. Floorball as an exotic popular sport, only something for children, not a competitive sport – all that was not so long ago.

In the meantime, people have gotten used to the fact that, starting with the playoff quarterfinals, a game is broadcast live every Saturday, expertly commented by SRF man Reto Held and expert Christoph Hofbauer, analyzed in the studio by Kaspar Schmocker. The fact that this TV contract was recently extended ahead of schedule until the 2026/27 season did not make any big waves – floorball on TV has become the norm in March and April. Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Not all arenas are really suitable for TV broadcasts and as a fan you would wish for more games. But the floorballers can meanwhile smile smugly when other sports complain about never appearing on the screen.

At the 2004 World Floorball Championships in Switzerland, Matthias Hofbauer was the first floorball player to be invited as a guest on “Sportpanorama” – the prestigious sports show on the Swiss National TV channel SRF. He was asked by presenter Matthias Hüppi whether he was glad that floorball was not about money. We will certainly not hear such a question again in the coverage of the 2022 World Floorball Championships in Switzerland. Floorball may not have become a professional sport since then and millions are still not at stake – but floorball will be reported on normally. And if things go perfectly, moments like the “magic 79 seconds” from the 2019 Women’s World Championships semifinal in Neuchâtel will even be among the TV highlights of the year.


Damian Keller, Chief editor and manager unihockey.ch

Nobody knows the floorball scene in Switzerland as well as Damian. For 20 years, he has been providing the largest Swiss floorball magazine unihockey.ch with the latest news, the hottest stories and the most controversial reports online and offline. In the next months, he will also be tapping the keyboard for the WFC 2022 Blog and will not be holding back with his opinions.

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