Star Sports estimated to earn Rs 120 crore revenue from PKL Season 8

Star Sports estimated to earn Rs 120 crore revenue from PKL Season 8

After a break of two years, vivo Pro Kabaddi League will return on December 22 with its eighth season. Official broadcast partner Star Sports has signed 11 sponsors for this edition and is said to be in the process of closing more deals.

Media experts say the ad rates for this season are similar to the previous season. As per industry estimates, the cost of ‘associate sponsorship’ is around Rs 15 crore and ‘special partner’ deal is costing Rs 7 crore. For spot buying, brands will have to spend Rs 1.5 lakh per 10 seconds. In total, the official broadcaster is expected to earn Rs 120 crore from season 8.

e4m reached out to Star Sports for an official comment, but is yet to get a response.

PKL was launched in 2014. As per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data, season five has been the most-watched season of the league so far. Season six witnessed a fall of 31 per cent in viewership, coming down to 1.1 billion impressions from 1.6 billion impressions in season five. However, the seventh season of the league again registered a growth of  9 per cent in viewership to 1.2 billion impressions.

“Data shows that after cricket, kabaddi has the highest viewership. So, from a quantitative perspective, there is a certain ROI in it. Secondly, over the years, the game itself has seen a lot of innovation, attracting viewers and advertisers,” said a senior media planner on the condition of anonymity.

He further noted that all teams have partners and sponsors who like to leverage the association beyond just having their logo on the apparel of the players. “Therefore, a certain pool of advertisers is always keen on advertising in PKL”.  

“Additionally, kabaddi has already tasted success, and it will only get better going forward. There was a time when people looked at it as a rural game, but it has been marketed so well over the years that now viewers apart from tier II and tier III cities have started taking interest in the game. It is also because the format of the game is innovative, viewer-friendly and action-packed,” added the planner.

Despite having big sports properties like IPL and World Cup at the same time in 2019, PKL season seven garnered good viewership as compared to the previous season. That year, the game was played from July 20 to October 19.

“PKL has been an interesting property as it reaches out to the masses. This is why bigger brands, in the FMCG and BFSI categories, are more keen on advertising here. New-age start-up companies don’t look at it as a match yet,” said another media planner.

He added, “Ad rates are the same this year as 2019, but I am sure with the surge in viewership, it will also go up for final matches.”

According to Star Sports, the 11 on-boarded sponsors for this season are vivo, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles, A23, Dream11, Mfine, Byju’s, Mutual Funds, Officer’s Choice, Parimatch News, Dhani, Ultratech Cement. In a statement released earlier this week, the broadcaster said that Pro Kabaddi League’s brand value has been reiterated with the addition of new advertisers like Mfine, A23, Parimatch News, Winzo, GSK, and Luminous, among others.

vivo bagged the title rights for the PKL for five years, starting 2017, for Rs 262 crore ($37 Mn). This means the approximate value for 2019 will be Rs 50 crore ($ 7 Mn) for 2019. For the edition, Tata Motors, Honda, and Dream11 were among the associate sponsors while UltraTech cemented their role as an official partner. These four brands contributed around Rs 40 crore to the revenue.

This year is the first time that the league will be played at a single venue– Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center.

The new format will feature Triple Panga (triple headers) on the first four days of the opening week. Bengaluru Bulls will square off with U Mumba in the opening match. The highly anticipated southern derby between Tamil Thalaivas and Telugu Titans will be the second match followed by UP Yoddha squaring off with defending champions Bengal Warriors in the final match of the day.

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