Cricket is the biggest sport in India and the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise model has proven to be so successful in the country that a number of other sports have adopted a similar model to promote the sport. The Indian Super League (football), the India Premier Tennis League and the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) are just some of the sports that have decided to follow in the footsteps of the IPL.
The Pro Kabaddi League has had massive success during its first two seasons and season 3 in 2016 is expected to be bigger and even better as these games are set to be broadcasted into more than 100 countries by Star India. The game will be televised into Latin America, the U.K, U.S, the Middle East as well as throughout the Indian sub-continent. The game will be telecasted in English, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada so it can appeal to people all across India and increase TRP ratings.
The league is backed by both the International Kabaddi Federation and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and features a total of 138 players who will be broken up into 8 teams. The main sponsors of the league are Star India and Mashal Sports but has a number of well known sponsors including State Bank of India, TVS, Flipkart, Fair & Lovely Men, Bajaj Electricals and Gionee Mobiles.
The organizers decided to split the third season of the PKL into two seasons due to the popularity and fan following that the league has gained during the last two seasons. The first season will start on the 30th of January and complete on the 5th of March and feature a total of 26 international players who come from 11 countries. Some of the countries that will be represented in the third edition of the PKL include Poland, Thailand, Japan, Kenya, Indonesia and Oman. The first phase playoffs is scheduled for the 4th & 5th of March and will be held at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
In a statement, Janardan Singh Gehlot, International Kabaddi Federation president 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.”