Pro Kabaddi League
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The Pro Kabaddi League started in the year 2014 being a marquee event. The tournament was announced as one of the top products of Star India. A tournament that began to promote the game of Indian soil, however, has started to lose its viewership. An event that once could hold the audience has slowly been going downhill. From in-house, live viewers to the viewers via various media platforms, the number has seen a drop. So, what are the reasons? Here’s a look: 

An Overdose of the Pro Kabaddi League: 

The tournament initially began with just one season per year. The product at that time looked exclusive with only 8 teams in the competition. With 8 teams, a player needed to be the best of the lot to earn a spot in the team. The 8 teams had fixed line-ups and the audience was feeling familiar with the players. But in 2016, the Pro Kabaddi League was broadcasted 2 times a year. In 2017, the PKL became a 10-team tournament.  

Ajay Thakur has changed 4 teams in the matter of 7 seasons. This makes sure that he never becomes the face of a team. IMG SRC: Pro Kabaddi League Official Website.

With PKL becoming a 10-team tournament and being two times a year, it became an overdose. The fans literally lost track of the players. Many players from Iran and Korea were bought in too. Many star players came in and went off. Players like Kashiling Adake, Suraj Desai, Shabbir Bapu became one season’s wonders. They couldn’t hold face value. 

Losing Players with a Big Face Value: 

The first two seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League were amazing. They had players with charisma and face value. The shows were filled in just to see the likes of Anup Kumar and Jasvir Singh. These players also bought branding and marketing to the league. Top performers like Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur too had a presence on the mat. They were liked by the ladies too. In the later editions, it was always about Pardeep Narwal, Monu Goyat, and Pawan Sehrawat. These players couldn’t hold the audience.  

Pardeep Narwal doesn’t have an off-screen presence. Maninder Singh should be made the face of the league. IMG SRC: The New Indian Express.

For a league to grow, the actual product needs to be entertaining, an integral part of which is the off-screen presence. Pardeep was the face of the league for 4 seasons but couldn’t bring in the audience and couldn’t hold their interest too. 

Disassociation of Other Marketable Attributes Has Cost the Pro Kabaddi League: 

When it first started, stars like Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan were seen at games. This is something similar to the IPL format. The IPL is not just seen for the game but also for the stars associated such as Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta, and Shahrukh Khan. The PKL teams were owned by Bachchans, Ronnie Screwala, Parth Jindal, Adanis, and Kotaks. But none of these big names have appeared for the games from the 3rd season onwards.   

To conclude, I would say that Star TV Network needs to work on marketing its product effectively. They need to make any other individual with a better face value, the face of their league. Maninder Singh is a good choice. Making the league a “once-a-year” affair will help to bring back the fringe interested fans.

To know more go to the official website of PKL.