Vivo Pro Kabaddi League will be the biggest sports league in the country now. With addition of four new franchisees, PKL becomes will now have 12 teams. Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Haryana and Chennai are the new addition to the PKL. The announcement of the four new team owners was made by Mashal Sports, organizer and administrator of the league and its parent organization STAR India.
Sachin Tendulkar with N Prasad will co-own the Chennai team with N Prasad, acquired by a consortium Inquest Enterprises Private Limited. Adani Group for Ahmedabad, GMR for Lucknow and JSW for Haryana are the other new franchisees.
The four new franchises announced by Mashal Sports represent some of the leading corporate institutions in India, including prominent owners of teams in the ongoing Indian Premier League as well as the I-League. The new geographies for PKL– Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat – have been primarily chosen for their high affinity towards Kabaddi with massive fan bases, significant on-ground presence of the sport, and potential commercial value to sponsors and advertisers.
Earlier this week, Star India announced a breakthrough deal with VIVO India, the global smartphone major – as the title sponsor of the league for five years. With the Rs 300 crore five-year tie up Kabaddi had become the second biggest sport in term of values, only behind IPL.
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Mr. Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO, Star India said, “I am delighted to welcome some of India’s finest corporates to our Mission Kabaddi. We believe that with the support of existing and new partners we are well on our course to realizing a socially transformative sports agenda. The interest shown by these corporates is evidence of the immense potential of Kabaddi.”
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With this, PKL is poised to surpass other Indian sports leagues in terms of geographical representation – 11 states, 130+ matches and 13 weeks of action. STAR India has tremendously invested in the.
Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot, President, International Kabaddi Federation, said, “We laud Star India and Mashal Sports for uniquely transforming and renewing Kabaddi, and their relentless efforts to scale it even higher. The addition of 4 new teams to the ever-growing PKL signifies a promising road ahead for the sport in India as well as over the world.”
The announcement of the four new teams in the PKL is a culmination of a detailed exercise carried out by AZB & Partners & PricewaterhouseCoopers India. This expansion adds to an already impressive line-up of 8 franchises based out of major metros in the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Patna, Pune and Jaipur.
In a short span of 2 years, PKL has captured the imagination of Indian viewers and established itself as one of the highest impact television properties in key markets. PKL became an instant hit with Indian sports fans in its very first season in 2014 as 435 million* viewers tuned in. Its cumulative viewership growth of 51%** over 4 seasons is the highest for any sports league in India. It has even surpassed IPL in Andhra Pradesh and also achieved prime time slot leadership in Mumbai, according to BARC data.