Star India retains Pro Kabaddi League media rights

The upcoming season of the PKL is likely to commence in July and it stands to be the first indoor sporting league to resume in India post the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Bengal Warriors team celebrates with the trophy after winning season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League.   -  Vijay Soneji

Star India’s association with the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)is set to continue as it has retained the League's media rights for INR 180 crores per year, totalling 900 crores for five years. Star India will hold the media rights for the PKL, India’s second most-watched sporting league, for the next five seasons (2021-2025).

Mashal Sports, the organising company of the PKL, held auctions for the media rights on April 15. Mashal Sports, the organising company of the PKL, held auctions for the media rights on April 15.

This was the first time that Mashal Sports had offered the media rights to eligible domestic and global players through an open tender process. While the base price for the auction was set at INR 900 crore, there is no clarity on the number of bids or who the other bidders were.

The e-auction process saw the media rights split into four packages - (A) Global Television Rights, (B) India Digital Rights, (C) Gaming Rights and (D) Consolidated Rights Package, which consists of all the media rights offered in the aforementioned packages. Star India has retained the Consolidated Rights Package. While the PKL is broadcast on the Star network, it is streamed on Disney+ Hotstar. Star India had previously partnered with Dream 11 as its gaming partner.

READ: Pro Kabaddi League season eight likely to commence in July

Commenting on the development, K. Madhavan, president of The Walt Disney Company India and Star India, said, “Pro Kabaddi League stands out as one of the most popular sporting properties in India and we, at Star India are thrilled to retain the television and digital media rights for the next five seasons. Over the years, we have made significant investments to enhance the aspirational value of PKL, making it the second most-watched sporting league in the country. By delivering an event broadcast of international standards, we have elevated the status of this indigenous sport, reinforcing our commitment towards building a multi-sporting nation. We will continue to work closely with Mashal Sports to take Kabaddi to greater heights.”

PKL league commissioner Anupam Goswami said, “The auction process has been guided by an independent Auction Committee, comprising eminent individuals. With this important step now over, we are excited to conduct a stellar PKL Season 8 later this year. Our focus during this rights period will be to further build on the success of PKL and work closely with Star India to offer our fans more and innovative ways to engage with PKL through various mediums including television, digital and gaming.”