Our focus is to actively support ground level sports in India: Prasana Krishnan, SPN
Sony Pictures Network India to air first edition of Pro Volleyball League starting from February 2
Pro Volleyball League, an initiative by Baseline Ventures India Pvt. Ltd and Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) has announced six teams to participate in the inaugural edition. Sony Pictures Network India is the official broadcaster for the first edition of the league.
The six teams on board to participate in the first edition of Pro Volleyball League will be the Ahmedabad Defenders owned by Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd.; the Calicut Heroes owned by Beacon Sports; the Chennai Spartans owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt. Ltd.; U Mumba Volley owned by U Sports; the Hyderabad Blackhawks owned by Agile Securities Pvt. Ltd; and the Kochi Blue Spikers owned by Thomas Muthoot.
Slated to be held from February 2 to 22 over two legs, the league will be aired on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3.
Prasana Krishnan, Head – Content, Sports, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) said, “It's going to be a three week event with 18 matches over the period of three weeks. Currently, we are looking at two channels which are our main channels in the sports category from English and Hindi language perspective but it's still a few months away so we will see.”
Speaking about the sport, volleyball, Krishnan explained, “If you look at what has changed in sports over the last ten years is that the number of events that are held in this country have gone up phenomenally. Today, there are probably 500 odd events held every year in this country along with international sports from football to wrestling; and we have been able to penetrate down to smaller towns and cities as well. That's a normal development happening in the sports economy. One of our big focus areas is to actively support ground level sports in this country.”
He further added, “Clearly there is rural connect for this sport and that's a huge part of our market. We have noticed that viewership can be tremendous when it comes to rural market and we have seen that with the Pro Wrestling League, and am hoping a similar success story for volleyball also.”
Tuhin Mishra, Co-founder & MD, Baseline Ventures Pvt. Ltd said, “We believe that the league is going to be the much-needed shot in the arm for the sport in India. We are starting the league in two cities that already have a strong following and fan-base for the sport. We are grateful to VFI, FIVB, Sony Pictures Networks India and all our team owners for believing in our vision and sharing the same level of commitment to the league and sport.”
Pro Volleyball League’s first season will be held in two volleyball hotbeds of India i.e. Kochi (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) and Chennai (Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium). Each of the six teams will comprise 12 players including two foreign players, one Indian icon player and two Indian U-21 players. The six teams will be fighting it out over a total of 18 matches with each team playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
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