In the finale of the second edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), U-Mumba picked up the trophy to be crowned as champions. In fact, the league has seen a growth in the second season on three aspects i.e. viewership, brand association and revenues. Its second edition has managed to grow considerably in comparison to the inaugural season.
Viewership rises by 56%
Viewership of the league has been a key to unlocking the success of PKL. The league’s ratings rose as high as 56% in comparison to the same period during the first edition according to the latest viewership ratings of 37 matches the ratings. It grew to 1.23 TVRs from 0.79 TVRs in season one according to data from TAM Sports CS4+ All India Markets (PKL 2: July 18 – August 8, 2015 vs. PKL 1: July 26 – August 16, 2014). In terms of average TVTs it increased by 57% as the ratings (in ‘000’s) stood at 3,309 TVTs in PKL 2 from 2,105 TVTs in PKL 1. The time spent viewing (TSV) per match also increased by 15% as PKL 2 TSV increased to 19 minutes 27 seconds from 16 minutes 54 seconds during PKL 1. While season one did not have much comparable factors in terms of viewership for the sport, the second season shows a huge growth in viewership which shows an increasing number of people being attracted to the sport.
Brands hop on board
Unlike the first edition where PKL did not have any brand associations and as a result Star India did not generate any advertising revenue. This year was however different with the broadcaster-owner of the league getting eight brands on board as associate sponsors which included TVS, VIP Frenchie, Bajaj Electricals, Thums Up, State Bank of India, Flipkart, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Mahindra Jeeto. Apart from these eight brands as associate sponsor, it had Britannia as a referee sponsor and Radio Mirchi as radio partners. According to TAM Sports seven out of the nine were new advertisers in PKL 2 than the previous season, which goes to show the number of brands that joined the league in the second edition.
In the first season the few brand associations were mostly at the team sponsorship level. This included a handful of brands such as Fevicol, Bajaj Electricals, Emami, Lenskart, Future Generali, Chings, Shakti Pumps, Amul and IDBI. In this edition some of the team brand sponsorship included Nise Gel, Amul Macho, American Tourister, Radio City, Kolte-Patil Developers, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Golden Harvest and Air Asia among others.
Revenues grow to Rs.50-55 crore
The brand associations have also resulted in revenues coming in from PKL 2. Senior media planners expect the revenues generated from the league by the Star network could be to the tune of Rs.50-55 crore. Media reports earlier had suggested that the revenues could be around Rs.45-50 crore from PKL 2. A majority of the revenue is through associate sponsorships. The title sponsorship was pegged at Rs.20 crore, however Star India decided to retain it.
Star India has invested over Rs.300 crore in PKL which includes the Rs.150 crore that it had invested in it in the first edition according to media reports. The network however expects the league to turn profitable only by 2018.
Team revenues too have grown considerably mainly due to sponsorship. Average revenues per teams in PKL 2 was around Rs.2.3 – 4.5 crore, which included sponsorship as well as ticketing revenues. While some teams such as U Mumba had raised Rs.12 crore only through sponsorships. This had considerably grown since the first edition where team sponsorship revenues were as low as Rs.10-15 lakh per team and ticketing revenues were much lower in comparison.
With the success of the second season all eyes will be on the third edition.