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Canadian broadcaster ATN acquires Pro Kabaddi League rights

MUMBAI: Asian Television Network (ATN), Canada’s largest South Asian broadcaster, has acquired exclusive broadcast rights to the first ever Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) to be held from 26 July to 31 August.

In India, the inaugural edition of the PKL will be simulcast on Star India’s sports channel Star Sports and Hindi movie channel Star Gold. The league, which kicks off today, will culminate on 31 August.

“We are very excited to bring this first ever Professional Kabaddi League to Canada on 6 of our channels. We have always tried to give our viewers different programming options from time to time and I am sure this league will be very well received as it is one of the most popular sports in South Asia. We want to promote kabaddi in Canada and showcase it as a world-class sport,” said ATN president and CEO Dr Shan Chandrasekar.

The PKL is a professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The first edition of the tournament will feature eight franchises comprising players from around the world. The eight teams will play in a caravan format, travelling together to all eight venues to play a total of 60 league matches.

The top-scoring four teams at the end of the group stages will play in the semifinals at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on 29 August while the finals will be held on 31 August.

The eight teams competing for the cup are Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Dabang Delhi, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Patna Pirates, Puneri Paltan, Telugu Titans and U Mumba. Each game will be shot by state-of-the-art equipment with 12 cameras, and the broadcast will feature ultra-motion, overhead shots and super slow motion.

The league has the formal backing of the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), the Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), each of which will be closely associated with this event. ATN will carry all 60 games live on six ATN channels in two different languages. CBN & ATN Cricket Plus will air the games in English while four other ATN channels will air the games in Hindi/Punjabi.