Report on Shemaroo

Ronnie Screwvala to launch mobile games, animation series & movie on Pro Kabbadi League

MUMBAI: 10 Kabaddi, 9 Kabaddi will soon reach mobile screens as serial entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala invests in setting up a mobile game with all the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) franchises and players in it. 


What’s more, Screwvala also envisions television and animation series alongside a movie around PKL. Screwvala, who is also the owner of PKL’s UMumba franchise, is of the opinion that such innovations around the traditional sport will help in making it more aspirational.  


Kabaddi saw a decent beginning in its first year, attracting over 435 million television viewers, which prompted Screwvala to plan an array of properties around the sport. What’s more, the second season of Pro Kabaddi League picked up not only in terms of sponsorships, but also viewership. According to the TAM Sports analysis, PKL season 2 has seen a 60 per cent growth in viewership as compared to the last season for the first 26 matches. “It is a popular sport. Now, we want to make it into an aspirational one, give it some stature,” Screwvala was quoted as saying in an ET report. 


Not only Screwvala, the sport’s success also garnered appreciation from veteran media mogul Subhash Chandra. “Star Sports is doing a great job and is packaging the sport well. It is sports like these, which will make India a sporting nation and not just a cricket nation,” he had said recently.


The mobile game around PKL being built for all platforms will seek to initially build brands out of some recognisable UMumba players such as Anup Kumar and Shabeer Bapu. Later, as the game grows, Screwvala plans to integrate other teams as well. His team at USports has been fielding queries from people to make a live action television series and an animation series around Kabaddi. For the animation series, Screwvala is looking at a feel-good kind of underdog story of a young kid, where characters from the UMumba team will guide the protagonist. “Eventually, we want to create characters. The idea is that kids should play this in school, make it more of an aspirational sport,” Screwvala said. 


The ET report further suggests that in the live action TV series, the story is likely to focus on three friends who come from three different states and how their lives intertwine, through kabaddi. “Our experience also teaches us that if you want a game to arrive, you want to have a big screen attachment to it. So, therefore, a movie is also being planned,” he said, pointing out that scriptwriters are right now understanding the back story of kabaddi players. 

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