Television

Pro Wrestling League rallies on North India viewership

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MUMBAI: The third edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) proved to be a hit among the younger viewers while attracting audiences of all age groups. Moreover, 77 per cent of the viewership came from North India for the season.  

The season saw top wrestlers from 17 countries participate in the league. It also provided a great platform for India's young and talented players to compete, and learn from, in close quarters with Olympic and world champions. The league was on air from 9 January till 26 January 2018.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data, the league garnered a total of 66,444 impressions (000s) sum, out of which 30 per cent of the viewership, or 20,125 impressions (000s) sum, was contributed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. North India contributed to 77 per cent of the total viewership. Viewers under 30 made up 55 per cent of the viewership.

Speaking about the impressive television numbers, ProSportify founder and promoter Kartikeya Sharma said, "Sports like wrestling have not got the attention that mainstream sports get in India. The latest BARC India ratings are proof that there is huge viewership for such sports, especially wrestling, if they are packaged properly."

The league was watched by 45 per cent female fans. The age group of 15-21 years contributed to 20 per cent of the total viewership.

All the Sony Pictures Network channels, which telecast the 18-day league, featuring over 24 Olympians, 10 Rio Olympic medallists, 14 world champions and six continental champions, witnessed exponential growth in viewership during the tournament. Sony Wah, Sony ESPN and ESPN HD aired the league live.

"Even more heartening for us sports lovers is that people are enthusiastically watching other sports, too, like wrestling, kabaddi, badminton and football. It is not just about cricket any longer in the country and that is very significant as it will eventually help India become a multi-sport viewing nation," said Sharma.

"This is a welcome change and we feel proud to be a part of the revolution to create space for sports other than cricket. We are particularly delighted to see a surge of interest among urban and new viewers, adding substantially to the rural and existing fans," he added.

India is making the transition from being a single-sport nation to a multi-sport-viewing nation as domestic leagues of sports such as wrestling, kabaddi, badminton and football are creating their own fan base.

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