The second edition of PKL (Pro Kabaddi League) will be inaugurated with an opening leg between hosts U Mumba who were last year’s runner-up and the reigning champions, Jaipur Pink Panthers at NSCI (National Sports Centre of India), Mumbai.
PKL is jointly sponsored by Star India and Mashal Sports with the support of both Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and International Kabaddi Federation.
The new season will follow the same ‘caravan style’ format of last year. According to the format, the franchise cities will host the league games in a time span of four days, where the host team will play four of the visiting franchises.
The league games will move on from Mumbai to Kolkata next, followed by other host cities eventually before coming back to the home team of U Mumba for the final leg of the tournament.
PKL will mark 60 games across eight cities in 37 days. The semi-finals are scheduled to take place on August 21 while the third place decider and the final will take place on August 23.
According to TAM report, the epic finale between U Mumba, owned by founder of UTV Group, Ronnie Screwvala and Unilazer Sports, and Jaipur Pink Panthers, owned by Bollywood actor, Abhishek Bachan, last year was watched by at least 432 million viewers on television.
This initiative by Star India to promote sports other than cricket in India is a great boost for the sports culture of the country. The news of PKL returning comes right after it was reported on Tuesday that Star India has collaborated with DFB (German Football Association) to broadcast live from the Bundesliga for five consecutive seasons.
Sanjay Gupta, COO of Star India termed the collaboration to be an “overall strategy to promote football and build heroes for the millions of sports fans in the country.”
He told ET: “The German national team won the FIFA World Cup last year and Germany’s in depth grassroots program has bred some of world’s best players and teams, making the Bundesliga one of the most exciting leagues to watch.” Starsports will show on its TV channels the match live again this year too.