Mumbai: VIVO Pro Kabaddi has enthused the renaissance of India’s indigenous sport, and has transformed it into an aspirational, world-class spectacle with a remarkable fan following. Packed stadia, record viewership, new teams and an ever-growing fan base – the growth story of VIVO Pro Kabaddi has been extraordinary. Riding on the burgeoning popularity of the sport, the opening day of Season 5 of the tournament has registered a cumulative reach of over 50 million registering a jump of over 59% over the inaugural day of Season 4 of the tournament.
This has been a season of many firsts for VIVO Pro Kabaddi – 4 new franchises joining the existing 8 this season, the geographical representation of the league has garnered reach across 11 states. More than 130+ matches spread across 13 weeks, strengthens VIVO Pro Kabaddi’s status as India’s biggest non-cricketing sports league. With the introduction of Star Sports First, India’s first free-to-air (FTA) private sports channel, and SS1 Tamil, a first of its kind dedicated regional sports channel in India, Star Sports has allowed for India’s own sport to reach out to the growing number of Kabaddi enthusiasts across the nation. A number of On-Ground activations have enabled the sport to achieve a deeper penetration even in the remote pockets of the country; contributing to a spike in the number of users consuming Kabaddi. Witnessing impressive growth over the last 4 seasons, VIVO Pro Kabaddi has emerged as a significant benchmark for sports leagues in India.
Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India, commenting on the remarkable growth of VIVO Pro Kabaddi said, “I believe this is the first big year for sports beyond cricket. The spectacular growth in viewership for Kabaddi is testament to this journey. It is heartening to see the response VIVO Pro Kabaddi has evoked from millions of fans across the country, cutting across geographies and demographics and I am truly overwhelmed by its success and rapid rise.”
The state of Karnataka has contributed significantly with a viewership growth of 137% for Season 5 as compared to Season 4. The average rating for day 1 showed an increase in other key markets as well with Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra registering a growth of 48% and 22% respectively. In addition, the recently launched FTA channel Star Sports First, accounted for 23% of the total viewership generated on the inaugural day of the season.
If the beginning of the tournament is anything to go by, VIVO Pro Kabaddi is all set to script a new chapter in the history of the sport winning the hearts of millions of sports enthusiasts, raking in record viewership figures and setting the benchmark for sports leagues being organised in India.
From July 28th to October 28th from 7:30 PM onward, fans can catch each match live on the Star Sports network, including the recently launched FTA channel Star Sports First, regional channel Star Sports 1 Tamil, in Kannada on Star Suvarna Plus, in Telugu on Star Maa Movies and Hotstar.