Pro-Kabaddi League Is 2nd-Most Viewed Tournament In India With Reach Of 218 Million
The Pro-Kabaddi League "has managed to continue to attract viewers," according to Urvi Malvania of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. The first-week reach of the Anand Mahindra and Charu Sharma-promoted tournament is 218 million, second only to the annual Indian Premier League's reach of 420 million in the '14 edition. The PKL telecast on Star India’s sports channel Star Sports 2 (English feed) and its Hindi movie channel Star Gold (in Hindi) "has outdone tournaments like the recently concluded FIFA World Cup (93 million), the 2013 edition of the Hero Hockey India League (62 million), Indian Badminton League 2013 (45 million) and Wimbledon 2014 (41 million)." The acquisition of the broadcast rights to the league "was part of Star India’s initiative to spawn the multi-sport culture in the country." Data shared by the network revealed 32% of all viewers were women and 22% were children. The strategy "of making the sport appealing to youth through its marketing and packaging seems to have paid off" with 25% of all viewers in the 15-24 age segment. Star India CEO Uday Shankar is confident that "advertisers and sponsors will join the league once it proves its mettle." Shankar said, “We are in no hurry to monetize. We were always confident of the potential of Kabaddi, but advertisers were reluctant to pay what we considered a fair price and, hence, we decided we would rather not sell sponsorships than discount its potential value." On social media, Star Sports Pro-Kabaddi conversations "have crossed a billion impressions" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 8/9).