MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) sports arm Sony Six has bagged the television broadcast rights of the World Kabaddi League (WKL) in India. That apart, the sport will be exclusively telecast on Geo TV in Pakistan and ARY TV in Dubai and UAE.
Indiantelevision.com was the first to report about the possible acquisition. Sony Six currently has big sports properties on board, right from the Indian Premier League (IPL) to the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
While seven countries including India, Pakistan, England, Belgium, USA, Canada and Australia will participate in the WKL as of now, 10 teams that are neither state- nor country- specific have already been confirmed. WKL has been modeled on lines of a travelling sports property where all 10 teams will play each other in the same week, similar to the Formula One format.
The prize money for the opening season of the League is Rs 4 crore.
World Kabaddi League commissioner Pargat Singh commented on the deal saying “Since time immemorial Kabaddi has incited passion among the North Indian youth. By and large a rural sport, Kabaddi is going through a transformation, as seen in the last four successful seasons of the World Cup with participation from over 21 countries. In our endeavor to professionalize the sport we intend to take Kabaddi to the next level through our partnership with Sony SIX as the official broadcaster of WKL in India. With World Kabaddi League (WKL) our attempt is to give Indian emerging talents a platform for a serious Kabaddi career. ”
World Kabaddi League CEO Raman Raheja commenting on the selection of the premier broadcasters said, ''We were in talks with various broadcasters for each region and out of them all Sony Six had the most promising line up of premier sporting properties this year. For a debutant sporting property the broadcaster becomes a very crucial associate in determining the economic success of a league and I am extremely delighted to announce this association. WKL’s underlying philosophy has been to build a sustainable eco system for all its league partners and associates. WKL will leave no stone unturned in providing a rich engaging experience to the sports fans through its enhanced production values.”
MSM EVP and Sony Six business head Prasana Krishnan said “We are pleased to sign World Kabaddi League as this game has a latent following in North India where it is seen as a community sport. We feel it is time to revive its legacy and make it an exciting venture for all those involved in the Kabaddi ecosystem. It will be interesting to take this sport to the swanky stadiums in India and abroad. It’s our endeavor to popularize Indian sports and through this association we aim to create visibility and generate interest for the game.”