Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, which saw astounding success in its second season, is all set to make its much awaited return for a third season from 30th January 2016, just five months after completion of the second season. Hyderabad will host the opening leg of Season 3, with the first match being played between Telugu Titans and U Mumba at the Titan’s home turf, Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, organized by Mashal Sports and Star India, in association with the International Kabaddi Federation, Asian Kabaddi Federation and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India is now going to be a bi-annual league with two seasons every year, promising much more action for the audiences and also encouraging them to take up to playing Kabaddi.
The third season of the league will feature 60 games played on specially developed mats, in state of the art indoor stadiums across 34 days in 8 cities. Following the same ‘caravan style’ format like in the first two seasons, the league will be played at each franchise city for a duration of 4 days, where the home team will play 4 of the visiting franchises. All seven visiting franchises will play a set of away games in each city.
After the opening leg in Hyderabad, the caravan will move to the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru, followed by Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata. This season, the badminton arena in the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune will be the venue for the culmination to the first half of the league. The indoor stadium at the Patliputra Sports Complex, Patna will play host to the second half of the league with the caravan then moving to Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on 20th February, 2016. Moving on from Jaipur, the league will be played in at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in Delhi and move to the home of the reigning champions, U Mumba at National Sports Club of India, Mumbai. The playoffs will return to the national capital for the semi-finals, playoffs and the finals.
Star Sports Pro Kabaddi is the only domestic Indian sports league to witness a strong rise in viewership as compared to its inaugural season. The rise in viewership in the second season validates the viewers’ progression from initial curiosity of season 1 to a deeper level of affinity and engagement with the aspirational avatar of Indian sport of Kabaddi.
The appeal of the league continues to deliver strongly with core urban youth audiences passionately following the game. The metro contribution in the first two weeks of Season 2 was 65% to overall television viewership demonstrating that the urban, millennial audiences have a strong affinity for the sport. The League has not only seen the viewership grow on TV but has also made a big impact digitally. The online viewership of Season 2 increased nearly 20 times already and over 13 million unique visitors to date. It has also been among the most talked about events on social media and has generated 5.73 billion potential impressions globally across 310,000 conversations so far.
Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India said, “India has found a new sport- to cheer, to watch and talk about. Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has clearly been successful in transforming Kabaddi into a modern-day uber cool spectacle. Repackaged, the sport has resonated with the urban masses creating an appetite for more Kabaddi action throughout the year. Given the enthusiastic response from both viewers and advertisers and with a view to build greater ubiquity and continuity for the sport, we will have Kabaddi back on TV screens across the country in January 2016.”
The eight teams, with the best of Kabaddi talent from across the world, will vie for the coveted title in Season 3 in early 2016. Sports enthusiasts can keep track of the matches, scores, team and player updates through social media platforms such as the official Pro Kabaddi website www.prokabaddi.com, Twitter handle @ProKabaddi and Facebook page ProKabaddi.