The most lucrative and popular franchise Kabaddi League in the world known as the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League 2018 is also the second most popular sports league which is viewed in India after the Indian Premier League.
The sixth season of Pro Kabaddi League which kicked-off from October 7th got the broadcasting rights on Star Sports network for the sixth consecutive time, has seen an immense drop in the viewership as compared to the last edition.
The viewership rating has fallen 31% from the last season, the drop in the urban areas was over 25% and in the rural market, it got even worse at around 33%. These data figures have been finalized according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India.
Star India, the official broadcaster of Pro Kabaddi League right from the first season, is telecasting this mega event in 9 different channels with Star Sports 2 being the premier one. According to BARC, Pro Kabaddi League clocked around 237.2 million views in the first 24 matches across channels which is quite low to the figure of the last edition which saw 344.7 million last time around.
The difference here is around 107 million which is quite a big deficit for sure. Not only the TV viewership but also the digital viewership of the league has seen a definitive fall from the last edition.
An Email has already been sent to Star India seeking the reason for the sudden fall in viewership but no words were received till the press release on Monday. The official broadcaster Star India has 74% in Marshal Sports who owns the Pro Kabaddi League.
A sports marketing executive, who was reluctant of being identified said; “There could be a lot of reasons including viewers fatigue and lack of marketing buzz. If you see, this time Star has not put a lot of emphasis in marketing the property like it used to do earlier. But this is dangerous as it puts a question mark on Star’s commitment on the league as now it has serious investments riding on cricket.”
One reason can be the time at which the tournament has started. The last season took place in early July, whereas, this year the league kicked-off in October due to which they are getting some heavy competitions from the illustrious reality-tv shows and also the premier franchise football league of the country called the Indian Super League.