Is The Pro Kabaddi League Getting Ahead of IPL & ISL?

Is The Pro Kabaddi League Getting Ahead of IPL & ISL?


Though the origin of the kabaddi game is controversial, the concept of kabaddi as a competitive form of sports was first conceptualized in the 1920s with getting features at the Indian Olympics and the Asian Games in the 20th century; the kabaddi marked an important role in the realm of sports with its eclectic theme.


However, it was Charu Sharma, TV personality and the director of Mashal Sports. They noticed the kabaddi’s potential as a sport and how much success it could gain on the national platform. The thought was entertained by Star Sports that organized the latest addition to franchise-based sports, kabaddi, as the Pro Kabaddi League or PKL.


This introduction turned the Pro Kabaddi League into a commercially viable and exhilarating game that millions of sports enthusiasts in India. Though the game has garnered a million viewership only in India, the most asked question regarding franchise-based sports is how it is faring compared to other franchise-based games, namely IPL and ISL.

Social media standing:


The competition between PKL, ISL, and IPL was generated without any further motivation. This unintended rivalry has created a sensation among the Indian fans as the sports league has created a space where all these franchise-based games’ standing is measured.


Depending on the recognition the games have garnered over the years, multiple factors have to be considered to assess whether Pro Kabaddi League is faring well compared to the Indian Premier League and Indian Super League.


Statistics have shown the Indian Premier League’s dominance over the two franchise-based sports, namely PKL and ISL, to social media upstanding. The dominance owes its validity due to the recognition that cricket has gained over the years, both internationally and nationally.


Cricket is hailed as the hail mary of sports in India, wherein second place it is the football that is given more importance. Apart from that, the franchise was launched six years earlier than the PKL. This early submission to social media has garnered IPL more followers on Twitter than PKL and ISL.


The IPL had 1.24 million followers, whereas the ISL and PKL had 45.8k and 1.6k consecutively in 2014. However, the numbers shot up with increasing recognition and acceptance of the game as PKL managed to garner the favouritism of 300k followers in 2019, whereas ISL with 690k and IPL with 6.49 million.


The IPL has been accepted globally, international players’ amalgamation to represent each mega-city’s team has increased the supporters over time compared to the PKL as it is constrained nationally. Nonetheless, when it comes to popularity nationally, IPL and PKL are head-to-head.

What about the viewership?


Though the game had recorded a follower of 1.4k in total on Twitter, it came as a great shock when it was announced that the PKL had recorded a total of 435 million views. Not only that, but the final round was viewed by 86.4 million people alone out of sheer excitement and emission of enthusiasm.


However, the IPL has been watched for months on end, amassing 560million views. Simultaneously, the third spot for most views by the franchise-based game goes to ISL with 429 million. As the IPL had been going longer than the PKL, it managed to get more views than other sports tournament forms.


However, the PKL has achieved a miracle as the viewership continues to expand rapidly. Incorporating tactics like short, sharp explainer videos and laser shows and enhancing the players’ image by making them more presentable by the viewers made the viewers opt for PKL more.


It helped sharpen the debut of the next seasons of the franchise multiple folds as Star Sports left no stones unturned to increase its popularity. With that being said, the game managed to garner millions of viewership beating football and going head-to-head with IPL.


Statistics have shown a growth of viewership by 51% on season 4 of PKL compared to its 1st season. Though the wavering viewership of PKL due to the clashing of schedules with IPL had caused a dip in viewership, it didn’t last long as the game’s momentum can be seen in the postponed edition of the game post-pandemic.

Where does it stand monetary value-wise?


When it comes to recruitment, the ISL and IPL are recruited differently compared to PKL as both ISL and IPL pick recognized players to meet the fundamental needs of fulfilling the franchise’s popularity. However, when it comes to PKL, the teams are formulated without the appointment of big names.


The sponsorship of the game, however, varies depending on the season. In 2016, it earned 62 crores from team sponsorship while 122 crores from on-ground sponsorship. In season 5, the cost hiked to 8 crores. Despite this fact, PKL continues to create momentum among famous franchises.

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