Pro Kabaddi League Season 5: Kabaddi's phenomenal rise on social media
The fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to start next month and with a record 12 teams and 130 matches in store, it promises to be the biggest tournament of its kind in the nation’s history. What was once considered to be a rural, indigenous sport is now a multi-million dollar property and the second most popular sport in India, with the league taking kabaddi to heights that were once thought to be unimaginable.
The competition started with eight teams – Delhi, Jaipur, Patna, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune, and in just two years, it has captured the imagination of audiences across the country. Players such as Anup Kumar, Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chhillar and Rahul Chaudhuri have now become household names and in the recently concluded Season 5 auction last month, the highest bid for a player was recorded at Rs 93 lakhs when Nitin Tomar was bought by Team UP.
On TV, the league has become an extremely valuable proposition, with 435 million viewers tuning in for its very first season. Over the four seasons that have gone by, a cumulative viewership growth of 51% has been recorded, which is the highest for any competition of this kind in the country. In Andhra Pradesh, it even surpassed the Indian Premier League (IPL) and in Mumbai, it also achieved primetime slot leadership.
Another aspect where the league’s popularity is on display is on social media, where the Pro Kabaddi official accounts as well the individual team accounts enjoy huge fan followings and engagement. Dabang Delhi are all set to become the first team to reach a million likes on their official Facebook page, showing the massive audience for the team and the sport itself.
The official Facebook page of the league itself has nearly 9.5 lakh followers and enjoys great engagement numbers on social media. Other teams such as Puneri Paltan and U Mumba have good numbers as well – with over half a million likes, which will increase rapidly as the new season starts.
On the day of the auction for season 5, the topic was a trending one on Twitter and Facebook, and with the new season around the corner, the kabaddi fever is only bound to rise.
Season 5 will feature 12 teams – after four new ones were added, namely, UP Yoddha, Tamil Thalaivas, Haryana Steelers and Gujarat FortuneGiants – all four owned by some of the biggest corporate names in the nation. The latest edition, spanning a period of 13 weeks and with 130+ matches across 11 states to be played, will be a truly historic one!