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Pro Kabaddi 3 to be broadcast in over 100 countries
MUMBAI: The third season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will be broadcast globally to audiences in over 100 countries, including the US, UK, Middle East and Latin America.
In India, broadcaster and promoter Star India will reach out to significant clusters of population through broadcast in four languages, namely English, Hindi, Kannada and Telugu.
Taking the production value a notch higher, the broadcaster will have cutting-edge graphics, more cameras around the playing area as well as an enhanced sound production system to capture the high-octane action.
The league has retained its core sponsors Flipkart, Bajaj Electricals, TVS and State bank of India, and also brought on board Gionee Mobiles and Fair & Lovely Men’s as new sponsors this year. Star India has reinforced its commitment to kabaddi by renewing the title sponsorship for the third season of the league.
The league, which has given the sport of kabaddi a distinctive contemporary identity, is promoted by Mashal Sports and Star India with the backing of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and International Kabaddi Federation. It will feature a total of 138 players across eight teams. The third season will be played from 30 January to 5 March.
Star India COO Sanjay Gupta said, “Kabaddi is the indication of our commitment to fostering a multi-sport culture in India by transforming the sport into a contemporary offering. The fact that it is now the country’s second most-viewed sport, second only to cricket, brings us great pride. Our sustained efforts to take the sport to new vistas through high-end production, marketing, communication and grassroots programmes have led to a deeper engagement and reach across segments. This success will help us in our goal of encouraging sporting talent and nurturing heroes.”
Vizag, which hosted a leg in the inaugural season, will host the opening leg, with home team Telugu Titans taking on current champions U Mumba. The playoffs will take place at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on 4 and 5 March with the largest indoor setup in the history of the league.
This year, the reinvented sport will witness two seasons, and the upcoming season will include 26 international players from 11 nations not only from around the sub-continent but also Kenya, Japan, Oman, Thailand, Indonesia and Poland.
The decision to hold the league twice in a year stems from the huge popularity the sport has garnered.
International Kabaddi Federation president Janardan Singh Gehlot said, “The sport must not just encourage our players, but also give countless millions who follow it as a thrill. The past two seasons have proven that the country is ready to not only watch and accept more of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, but also form loyalties towards players and teams. Season 3 will only reinforce the loyalties.”
Like the last season, this time also the national anthem’s rendition promises to be a feature on each match day. These will be performed by icons from the film and music industry, sportspersons and local musicians and bands, philanthropists and people who have changed the society for the better.
Mashal Sports director Charu Sharma said, “What a ride! In two short seasons, Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has achieved remarkable stature. It is the second most watched sport in the country. Kabaddi and its kings are on the pedestal they belong. Renewed pride and effort among the youth is churning out new stars from every corner of India. Season 3 is catering for the need to have more kabaddi through the year. Mashal Sports, AKFI and Star Sports will leave no stone unturned to unfurl another blockbuster show.”