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Star India decides to have Pro Kabaddi League twice a year
MUMBAI: The popularity of Pro Kabaddi League is leading the owners to create another playing window for the contact sport. The league will have two seasons from next year, providing Star India, the official broadcaster, with more annual content of the sport.
Star India will, thus, get 10 weeks of content in a year. The tournament will play out in January-February 2016, ahead of the T20 World Cup and IPL. The next playing window will be in July-August 2016.
“It is a five-week activity now. We want to move it to 10 weeks. More the volume, more popular it will be. A lot of young people are already watching kabaddi on our digital platforms, which is a great indicator,” Star India chief operating officer Sanjay Gupta told the Economic Times.
Star India owns 74 per cent stake in Mashal Sports, which is co-promoted by Anand Mahindra and Charu Sharma. Mashal Sports owns the successful Pro Kabaddi League.
With Pro Kabaddi League getting more exposure in a year, brands and team franchises will stand to benefit. The brand recall will be higher and fans will tend to deepen their association with the team franchises, media analysts said.
There are eight team franchises in Pro Kabaddi League. They are U Mumba (Mumbai), owned by Ronnie Screwvala, Unilazer Sports; Bengal Warriors (Kolkata), owned by Kishore Biyani, Future Group; Jaipur Pink Panthers (Abhishek Bachchan); Bengaluru Bulls (Kosmik Global Media); Dabang Delhi ( Radha Kapoor, DO IT Sports Management); Patna Pirates (Rajesh Shah); Puneri Paltan (Sumanlal Shah, Insurekot Sports); and Telugu Titans (Veera Sports).
As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Star India has reinvented the ancient Indian sport to make Pro Kabaddi League a good TV property and sporting spectacle.