Mashal Sports, the pioneers of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, and Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster, began the countdown to the much-anticipated Season 5 of the league, with the unveiling of the new format and fixtures for the season.
The occasion was celebrated with a day-long Vivo PKL Media Forum in Mumbai on Wednesday. The day-long sessions featured commercial journey, success and global recognition for the sports.
PKL commissioner Anupam Goswami, Subhanshu Singh, Marketing Head, STAR Sports and U Mumba CEO Supratik Sen were the speakers at the inaugural session, i.e., PKL – A new star in Indian Sport.
The journey of PKL as the game changer had opinions from the players. Their stories about the rise from non-descript talent to sporting icons, from sports quota jobs to multi-lakh rupee contracts.
Among prominent analyst were Craig Thomson, Sports consultant and Uefa Founder; India’s former hockey star Viren Rasquinha, CEO, Olympic Gold Quest; Sports consultant and ex-general secretary, Premier League, Nick Coward and Kenya national kabaddi team coach Laventer Oguta.
Haryana Steeler’s CEO Mustafa Ghouse, Sachin Tendulkar-owned Team Tamil Thalaivas CEO Varun Tripaneni and Team U Mumba shared the franchisee’s view point.
Group M Business Head Vinit Karnik and STAR Sports’ head ad sales Anil Jayaraj enlightened the elite gathering about PKL’s growing commercial opportunity. Then there were sessions on Stronger Competition in PKL Season 5, revision of rules and strategies and Kabaddi is India’s gift to the world of sport.
Just before the announcement of the Season V schedule, eminent sports journalists Vikrant Gupta, Sports Editor, TV Today; sports journalist and author Ayaz Memon; Group Sports Editor, Asian Age, Rahul Banerjee and Executive Editor, Times Now, Hector Kenneth shared critical analysis on growth and realism of sport during the ‘Kabaddi: The growing story in medis’ session.
The Season 5 will begin on July 28, 2017 in Hyderabad and will travel across 12 host cities, culminating in Chennai with the ultimate battle of Kabaddi supremacy taking place on October 28, 2017. The first match will see Rahul Chaudhari-led Telugu Titans clash with Tamil Thalaivas, which boasts of marquee player, Ajay Thakur.
The 12 teams have been divided into two zones of six teams each, where each of them will be playing 15 intra-zone and 7 inter-zone matches, prior to the play-offs. The play-offs stage will comprise 3 action-packed qualifiers and 2 eliminators scheduled to take place in Mumbai and Chennai.
Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi said: “For Season 5, our goal was to create a high-impact tournament which evokes euphoric sentiment among fans for their favourite teams. Strong contenders will be seen clashing in the action-packed 3 months of the league. The longer duration of the league, in addition to 12 teams battling in 138 matches, will give fans an exciting season of kabaddi to cheer for.”
Deoraj Chaturvedi, CEO, International Kabaddi Federation said, “It is our foremost priority to tirelessly work towards nurturing and developing an evocative and engaging Kabaddi culture in India. The International Kabaddi Federation worked with Mashal Sports to create a dynamic schedule for VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 which will thrill the audiences. We are proud to see that the league, which is uniquely driven by innovation, has grown into one of the biggest in Indian sports.”
Fans can catch all the action from VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 on the Star Sports network and Hotstar. Please find the complete schedule in the annexure.