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MSM acquires Pro Wrestling League broadcast rights for 5 years

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media (MSM) has bolstered its fight sports content line-up with the acquisition of the broadcast rights to Kartikeya Sharma-promoted Pro Wrestling League (PWL) for five years.

Logo PWLAs per the deal, MSM will be the official broadcast partners for the league in over 60 countries.

In India, the league will be broadcast on Hindi movie channel Sony Max, sports channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD, as well as Hindi entertainment channel Sony Pal.
The league involving 18 matches will be played from 10 to 27 December across six cities.

PWL is a franchise-based professional wrestling league launched by iTV Network promoter Kartikeya Sharma’s ProSportify in association with the Wrestling Federation of India.

kartikeya-sharmaProSportify CMD Kartikeya Sharma said, “MSM has an outstanding reputation as a sports broadcaster and has played an integral role in promoting and growing the sport events in the country. We look forward to this relationship and the widest possible reach ever for the Pro Wrestling League.”

Vishal GurnaniProSportify director Vishal Gurnani said, “ProSportify is delighted to have reached such a significant agreement with MSM and we are looking forward to working together to offer wrestling fans across India an extensive coverage of the tournament. MSM is an experienced partner in the broadcasting of major international sports events and their expertise will help this league gain the right platform in promoting the sport in India.”

MSM will use its production, packaging and presentation expertise to hone and preserve viewer interest in the sport.

This is the third acquisition of a local league by MSM. Earlier, it had acquired rights of World Kabaddi League and Champions Tennis League.

PWL will complement MSM’s existing portfolio that includes UFC and TNA Wrestling. MSM also owns rights to key properties like the Indian Premier League, FIFA, UEFA Euro 2016, Serie A, La Liga, and NBA.

An initiative of ProSportify and Wrestling Federation of India, PWL is the richest wrestling event ever. The league in the inaugural year offers a prize purse of Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million).

PWL with six city-based franchisee teams will be played in six cities across India. Each team will have nine players (5 Indians & 4 foreign, 5 men & 4 women).

Earlier, JSW CMD Sajjan Jindal and actor Dharmendra had bought Bengaluru and Punjab teams respectively.

Sajjan Jindal had bought the Bengaluru team through his company JSW Sports, which also owns I-League club Bengaluru FC, while actor Dharmendra, along with his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol, had teamed up with Delhi-based real-estate firm CDR Group to buy the Punjab team.

The franchises will pay the base price of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) as franchise fee annually, which will go up from the third year onwards. The central pool revenue will be shared in the ratio of 60:40, with the franchises keeping 60 per cent and organisers keeping the rest. The organisers have earmarked Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) for marketing the league.

In the inaugural year, PWL will feature a total of 18 ties—15 in the league phase, two semi-finals and the grand finale. Each tie will be contested on the best-of-nine-bouts format; interestingly all nine bouts will be contested in the league phase. PWL guarantees a minimum of 150 bouts.

The league will be played according to the PWL rules, which are based on Olympic rules in conjunction with the Wrestling Federation of India rules.