Ninth season of Pro Kabaddi League attracted greater than 200 million audiences to become among one of the most prominent league sports in country after cricket. Cricket is the largest and most prominent sport in India that everybody understands. However, what is second on the listing?
There are a couple of sporting activities that are up there. Badminton, hockey, wrestling and also boxing all have a rich history in the Indian landscape. There is one sport that is really Indian, has been enjoyed for generations, and also is unlike any kind of other. It is also taking large strides towards becoming the 2nd most preferred in India – kabaddi.
The seven-a-side contact sporting activity includes a single ‘raider’ attacking the resistance’s half as well as attempting to identify one or more challengers prior to scampering back into his area without getting identified himself – all while claiming “kabaddi kabaddi”. It is as remarkable to enjoy as it sounds.
India was currently a giant in the sport at area level, winning the Kabaddi World Cup three times and also clinching gold in 7 out of 8 Asian Games. The future of kabaddi in India is bright. It is a sport that has captured the attention of the country’s youth. It is a physical contact sport that has all the elements of drama and human emotions in full flow. With its exponential growth, this sport is sure to make its presence felt in the city.
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One of the most successful franchise organizations in the nation
Broadcasters Star Sports, league organisers Mashal Sports and a few of the leading business residences in the nation collaborated to form among one of the most successful franchise organizations in the nation – Pro Kabaddi League.
The just recently concluded nine season of PKL was watched by greater than 200 million fans. The first 114 out of 132 league suits had a collective viewership of 202m, which was already much higher than the whole reach of the previous season that stood at 189m. Considering the PKL was held right along with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as well as the last on the eve of the title match between France as well as Argentina in Qatar, the numbers are mighty impressive.
The PKL has currently 12 franchises in its fold. The team proprietors are some of the most popular names in the nation. Adani Sportsline (Gujarat Giants team), IPL expert proprietors GMR Group (UP Yoddhas) and also JSW Group (Haryana Steelers), Indian flick celebrities Abhishek Bachchan (Jaipur Pink Panthers) and also Allu Arjun (Tamil Thalaivas) are some of the heavyweights that have brought remarkable value to the league throughout the years.
In 2021, the program rights for the league for the next five years were marketed to Star India once more for nine billion rupees ($ 109m). This is a big number for a non-cricket product in India.
An exponential growth
Kabaddi has been growing exponentially in India over the last few years. During this time, kabaddi has made considerable progress in the production and broadcasting of the game. It has also grown its popularity as a game of choice among Indians, especially in rural areas. A new franchise-based women’s league could strengthen kabaddi in India and give the sport a wider reach. The Women’s Kabaddi Challenge was a short-lived endeavour in 2016, but it was a good start.
The Pro Kabaddi League has been one of the biggest success stories in Indian sports. This professional Kabaddi tournament has boosted interest in the sport in the country and abroad. It has created a new pathway for aspiring players and a platform for young stars to break into the sport.
Since its launch in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League has helped the sport reach millions of fans throughout the country and beyond. Over the course of its nine seasons, the Pro Kabaddi League has had a viewership of over 46 million viewers.
Kabaddi is a contact sport that is suited for a sports league across the world
” What has actually benefited kabaddi is that it is a get in touch with sporting activity. Yet it is the only really team contact sporting activity,” Anupam Goswami said, head sports leagues Mashal Sports and also league commissioner vivo Pro Kabaddi League.
While there is physicality (in rugby), the facility of the sport is not contact. Kabaddi is a contact sport that is suited for a sports league across the world. The innate worth of team sports in a franchise version becomes clear when you see specific disciplines like badminton as well as tennis that have attempted the franchise business formula via team formats without much success.
Goswami thinks the numbers generated by the 2022 season and the brand-new media legal rights make the league not only the second-biggest in India yet one of one of the most famous ones in Asia.
” The mark of 200 million visitors is a very strong number throughout home entertainment for media consumption across Asia. In India it is plainly the second most watched league. In addition to IPL, we are far ahead of all sports and leagues in India,” he explained.
What seems to have operated in kabaddi as well as PKL’s favour is that the sport has been played in some kind or the other by numerous Indians in their early years across regions.
” What additionally helped kabaddi is that it appealed to a core view among Indians. It is something most of them played. Any person that is 55-plus would certainly have strong memories of having played it. Those more youthful would have some idea about it.
Besides IPL, we are far ahead of all sports and leagues in India
Kabaddi came to be a medal technique in Asian Games in 1990. Its growth was powered by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India. The idea of PKL transpired around 2012 however by that time, the AKFI as well as the International Kabaddi Federation had actually currently established it well at the Oriental Gamings. Which implied there were 8-10 nations playing it consistently. And also which is why the PKL has gamers from nations like Iran, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Kenya as well as Bangladesh.
” We have to offer credit score to AKFI as well as IKF for not just internationalising it however also developing collection of methods which permitted other countries to gain strength in it,” Goswami said.
” Iran are the existing Asian champions. That is not by accident. They took a years to find up to that level. They offered a very solid difficulty to India in the 2014 Oriental Games. South Korea also have a really solid team. If kabaddi has desires to visit the Olympics, it needs to show that other nations are also completing well.”
Explore the worldwide market
The next action in kabaddi’s journey is apparent – explore the worldwide market. They did that in 2018, with the Dubai Kabaddi Masters. That competition was a global competition arranged by the IKF, Dubai Sports Council and also Star India. However, the world came to halt due to the Covid-19. Even PKL was suspended for a season in 2020.
Currently, there is renewed hope of taking kabaddi and also PKL to brand-new markets, even if in the form of exhibit games. Several PKL groups would be extremely curious about playing demonstration matches in the neighbourhood, especially where the TV prime-time television coincides. Several teams would such as the idea of having such games in Dubai.
The Future of Kabaddi in India
In the past, Kabaddi was a game of haves and have nots played in villages and small towns across the country. With the advent of the televised professional sport in 2014, it is not hard to see the game catching on as the new kids on the block. A physical contact sport with all the elements of drama and human emotions in full flow.
Today, there are many aspiring superstars gracing the glitzy fields of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, and Pune. The competition is fierce and the prize pool is not cheap. But, with the help of the state governments, there is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel for all concerned. It is safe to say that the game has taken off.