Kabaddi, a popular sport in the Indian subcontinent, gained competitive status in the 1920s. As Pro Kabaddi League also becomes more popular, a comparison will be inevitable.
Kabaddi, a popular sport in the Indian subcontinent, gained competitive status in the 1920s. It started in a low-key voice and was part of many Asian Games. Although the sport gained great popularity in the following years, it was not until the 2006 World Cup that a revolutionary moment appeared for the sport.
Famous TV personality Charu Sharma, the co-founder of Mashal Sports, understood the vast potential of the game. In 2014, he co-organized the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) with broadcaster Star Sports. It was the newest member on the list of Indian franchise-based sports leagues. The league soon became so popular that millions of people in India began to watch it.
From a betting perspective, kabaddi is as popular as cricket and football. There are many kabaddi betting sites available for placing bets on different kabaddi tournaments including PKL. Below are some factors that prove Pro Kabaddi League is not far behind IPL in India:
Cricket is the most popular game in India and has better global appeal. But if we talk about PKL, it is also getting popular. Some statistics and insights show why PKL is grabbing more attention because of social media. Due to the global popularity of kabaddi players such as Pradeep Narwal, Ajay Thakur, Siddharth Desai, Arjun Deshwal, international Fazal Atrachali, Lee-jang Kun, etc. the PKL manages to catch the eye of many parts of the world. If you see social media sites Twitter, IPL is an advantage because IPL started six years before PKL. In terms of betting, PKL betting site also gets a huge positive response from punters.
In any case, the number of PKL followers over 300,000 is great. ISL had 690,000 fans in 2019. Unlike football, kabaddi is hardly followed outside of India. The game has never had as much competition like this to increase the number of fans.
People were surprised when in 2014 towards the end of the first season of PKL, they announced that the number of viewers was 435 million. The final was followed by 86.4 million spectators. A few months ago, IPL views were 560 million. So you can see that there wasn’t much difference when it was just the starting season for PKL. The numbers remained the same and there was no one-time surprise.
In the fourth season of PKL, views increased by 51% compared to the first season. There was a steady increase in both the second and third seasons. All the groundwork done by Star Sport 2014 proved that PKL acceptance would never be compromised. Views increased during the 2018 season as the season shifted to October-January due to the Kabaddi Masters and Asian Games.
The Indian cricket season also clashed at home, and of course, there was fatigue among the audience. However, the popularity did not fall much. In the 2019 edition, PKL advanced 1.2 billion impressions ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 season has been postponed, but viewers are excited to see the league return.
PKL created itself without huge names to promote the game, unlike the IPL. The rank of the players has evolved in the long run, as opposed to the league attracting big names right from the word. As the league grew financially, players began to build themselves into cross-country stars. They have seen an increase in the value of their brand. However, this is not at the level of IPL players.
We must congratulate Star Sports and other stakeholders in the league for their marketing efforts to properly sponsor and invest in the league. PKL managed to generate 122 million from ground sponsorships and 62 million from team-related sponsorships.
The latest season of the league saw Vivo as a title sponsor last season of the league. It was the largest non-cricket deal ever witnessed by Indian sports. This also led to an increase in the amount of the cash prize to 8 crores.
There is no doubt about the commercial feasibility of PKL, as most sponsors renewed their contracts in 2021. Over the years, PKL has only been ranked second behind the IPL in terms of popularity and revenue. If we follow the trends, there will be a lot of growth and improvement in the number and quality of the league in the coming years.
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