Hinduja Group announces its foray into sports with ‘Ultimate Karate League’
The media vertical of Hinduja Group has bought the Mumbai franchise in the upcoming professional sports league for karate. The first season begins January 11 in Bengaluru
Hinduja Group’s ONEOTT iNTERTAINMENT LTD and IN ENTERTAINMENT INDIA LTD are now the proud owners of the ‘Mumbai Ninjas’ – the Mumbai Franchise in the Ultimate Karate League (UKL). Mumbai Ninjas are one of the six teams that shall feature in the first season of the UKL Ultimate Karate League starting on January 11, 2019.
Commenting on the occasion, Yugal Kishore Sharma, CEO of Hinduja Group’s ONEOTT iNTERTAINMENT LTD and IN ENTERTAINMENT INDIA LTD said, “Not only the technical rules, the business model of UKL too is unique that guarantees a very sound eco-system for Team Owners. It is probably the only professional sports league in India that is setting out for three Seasons in its inaugural year.”
Along with Mumbai Ninjas, the other teams that shall feature in the first season of UKL are Bengaluru Kings, Chandigarh Fighters, Delhi Bravehearts, Kolkata Radicals and Ranchi Rebels. The debut match is all set to take place at Bengaluru’s Koramangala Indoor Stadium followed by its final leg at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
With world champions and renowned national players, the UKL Ultimate Karate League will feature matches that are entertaining and action packed – appealing to all sports fans in India and across the world. UKL has signed World Champions as Marquee Players in each team. Legendary Masters Sensei Ilija Jorga and Sensei Vladimir Jorga will be present during the entire Season.
Sharma added, “Mumbai Ninjas Team has the World’s Best Fighter, Calin Marincas, from Romania as its Marquee Player. Calin has 6 World Championship Titles under his belly.”
Karate was not a spectator sport till the research & development works of Sensei Rajeev Sinha resulted in creation of unique technical rules that are specifically structured from televisions’ perspective. Fan-engagement is maximised and the new rules bring in thrilling action as never seen before in a real-time team matches.
“The main purpose of establishing UKL was to trigger an aspirational connect amongst the existing and future karate practitioners. It is noteworthy that there are over 190 million practitioners of karate around the world who pay to learn and compete. However, the current amateur format does not provide platform for trainees to dream of becoming Ronaldos, Dhonis or Tendulkars of karate as the rules of amateur competitions are too boring for general spectators. With UKL in place, we expect steep rise in its following in India,” said Sinha, Chairman of Indian Professional Karate Council (IPKC).
UKL has opted for episodic telecast in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka over Discovery Channel’s DSPORT. “We preferred episodic telecasts on Sundays Prime Time for 18-weeks and repeat telecast on weekdays, total of 36 days over 5 months of visibility over television,” explained Sinha.
UKL has tied-up with Czech Republic based QuickMedia to broadcast UKL content to rest of the world over its OTT platform.
Additionally, UKL has carved out unique Women Empowerment Program #NoMoreMeToo. “The whole world was recently engulfed in #MeToo wave. But that is merely a 'problem statement’ and not a solution. We have revived our women empowerment project ‘Be-Your-Own-Weapon’ with #NoMoreMeToo,” added Sinha.
- Sanctioned by: Indian Professional Karate Council (IPKC)
- Teams: 6 (Bengaluru Kings, Chandigarh Fighters, Delhi Bravehearts, Kolkata Radicals, Mumbai Ninjas and Ranchi Rebels)
- Seasons: 3 seasons in a year (January – March – September)
- 1st Season Host Cities: 2 (Bengaluru, 11 – 13 January 2019) and (Delhi, 18 – 20 January 2019)
- Broadcast Partners: Discovery Channel’s DSPORT and QuickMedia OTT
- Format: Best of Three Matches
- Total Number of Matches: 18
- Title Track: UKL Theme Song: Rag Rag Mein
- Grass-root Programs: 1. Scholarship driven CuppaSchoola Program, 2. #NoMoreMeToo “Be Your Own Weapon”
- Calin Marincas (Romania)
- Nenad Duricic (Serbia)
- Dawid Rojowski (Poland)
- Iulian Dumitras (Romania)
- Artsrun Ohanyan (Armenia)
- Damian Tomasik (Poland)
- Iuliana Clitan (Romania)
- Klaudia Mleko (Poland)
- Jelena Stanojevic (Serbia)
- Agnieszka Sajdutka (Poland)
- Barbora Znamenckova (Czech Republic)
- Roxana Stoica (Romania)
- Satya Pal (UP)
- Mohit Tiwari (MP)
- Ritik Kumar (Delhi)
- Ritik Singh (Bihar)
- Rohit Tiwari (MP)
- Umesh Saket (MP)
- Harsh Kumar (Bihar)
- Karan Chaudhary (Delhi)
- Moninder Singh (Delhi)
- Manjeet Singh (Bihar)
- Balram Gupta (Delhi)
- Shashank Kumar (Bihar)
- L. Rohiteshwar (Karnataka)
- Ranjeet Kumar (Bihar)
- Rabi Das (West Bengal)
- Alok Xess (Jharkhand)
- Kuldeep Dagar (Delhi)
- Yuvraj Singh Khodwal (Rajasthan)
Each Team consists of four male and one female athletes. World and European Champions are Marquee players who were allotted to teams through Players Allocation Draw.
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