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Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: This edition to generate double the advertising revenue

The age old sport gets a much deserved boost thanks to the league.


The PKL has steadily increased in viewership and revenue-building

The PKL has steadily increased in viewership and revenue-building


What’s the story?

The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is going to see an unprecedented profit to its principal owners, Star India, as media buyers estimate that the fifth edition would possibly create double the advertising revenue that was made the previous year.

The context

The popularity and viewership of this age old sport has increased manifold over the year. Star had managed to make Rs 70 crore revenue out of advertising last year and are estimated to make a whopping figure of Rs 150 crores this year.

Earlier this May, the title sponsorship rights for PKL were acquired by Chinese company, Vivo Electronics Corp., for a period of five years at Rs. 50-Rs.60 crores a year.

Heart of the matter

For a league that is only taking shape, with the revenue that they’re earning, the PKL has outperformed other sports. Along with the Vivo sponsorship, the league has three partners at Rs.5-7 crore each and three associate sponsors at Rs. 8-10 crores each.

Kabaddi has found its place as the second favourite sport in India and PKL has been a huge contributing factor. Initiated in 2014, the PKL has been structured to appeal to audiences with the aggression and strategy in its matches. It draws people to feel involved in the game. 

The fifth edition kickstarted with twelve franchises and matches slated to be played over three months. This exponential expansion has led to a growth of 51% in its audience exceeding the IPL viewership in three of the 29 states in India.

The fact that the league started small with little budget and investment has pushed Star, who own 74% stake in the firm, in investing thoughtfully and ensuring quality broadcast.

The PKL reached 217.46 million people last season, second to the IPL which was at 361.24 million, reports convey. That is commendable in terms of the comparison made.

From Rs 48 crore in 2015, it generated Rs 122 crore last season, simply from on-ground sponsorships, allowing Kabaddi to push its way even ahead of football, a sport largely loved in the country.

What’s next?

Statistics indicate that the PKL is only on the rise now, with increasing stakeholders willing to vouch for the league and the game and more and more viewers gearing up to watch it.

Author’s take

As a report says, the sport surely does need to be underpinned further in the coming times as an addition to its steady growth. Increasing viewership should also lead to an increase in aspiration for the sport and the people that engage in it. 

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