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Sony Six to telecast season 1 of World Kabaddi League

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) sports channel Sony Six will telecast the first season of the World Kabaddi League, an initiative of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Olympian Pargat Singh.

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and star rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh have bought franchises in the league that is expected to be held in five different countries from August to December this year.

Confirming the development, MSM EVP and Sony Six business head Prasana Krishnan said, “We have acquired the rights to the first season of the World Kabaddi League. We will decide on renewal after the first season. The league has a very interesting format and the organisers are targeting the Indian diaspora by organising it in other countries as well.”

WKL will have international kabaddi teams locking horns in 94 matches. The league boasts prize money of Rs 40 million. Featuring 200 top international players, the league will fork out Rs 150 million for players’ salary.

The league will compete with the Pro Kabaddi League, a joint initiative between the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) and Anand Mahindra’s sports management company Mashal Sports, which will be held from 26 July to 31 August.

The Pro Kabaddi League has eight franchises, namely Jaipur (Abhishek Bachchan), Mumbai (Ronnie Screwvala), Kolkata (Kishore Biyani), Pune (Uday Kotak), Delhi (Rana Kapoor), Vizag (Core Green Group), Bengaluru (Kosmik Global Media) and Chennai (Kalapathi Investments).

Each team will have 12 players which include seven in the playing squad plus five substitutes. Star Sports has the media rights to the event and will be responsible for production, marketing and telecasting the league.