The rise of Pro Kabaddi League : Why it is soaring in popularity

Disha Pawar

The Pro Kabaddi League has brought life to a sport that many thought already had one foot in its grave. While it is no surprise that the League has amassed a rural support base, the increasing urban traction is the most significant takeaway from this model.

For the first time ever in the history of Asian Games, the invincibles- Indian men’s Kabaddi team- fell short of what could have been their Eighth consecutive Gold. Since the introduction of the sport in Asiad in 1990, there hasn’t been a single time that India didn’t emerge victorious, be it in the men’s or women’s competition. Also, not to forget all the World Cup titles won by both Indian men and women over the years. Unfortunately, this year, the Indian men settled for a bronze while the Indian eves came home with a silver making it a double whammy at the hands of Iran.

Change is the only constant in life and without change, there would be no success or failure. But for Kabaddi, this definitely was a turning point as there finally seemed some level of competition to India in the form of the mighty Iran and the powerful Koreans. Much of the credit goes to the PRO Kabaddi League started back home in 2014 which took shape with an aim of not only popularizing the game but also taking it from the hinterlands of India and giving a taste of the sport to an urban television audience.

Cut to 2018 and the sixth edition of the now extremely popular Pro Kabaddi League is underway and how six successful seasons in four years with the popularity close to IPL speaks volume about the rise of Kabaddi which could now be taken seriously as a dependable sports career option.

Pro Kabaddi League sure started as a surprise package but its continual efforts to retain its charm on sports enthusiasts across India made it a huge success in no time. The league got on board everything one could ask for: big sponsors, high-profile owners, a taste of regional loyalty and entertainment.

The two most watched and played sports in India are undoubtedly cricket and football. However, in terms of TV ratings and reach, kabaddi is today the second most popular sport in India, behind cricket and the IPL, leaving the popular ISL far behind.

 


 

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Source: Matchday Frolics
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