Difficult Questions Facing The Pro Kabaddi League

Difficult Questions Facing The Pro Kabaddi League

The pandemic has put some difficult questions ahead of the Pro Kabaddi League, considered by many as the second biggest league in India after the IPL. There is no doubt that the Pro Kabaddi League has established itself in India and built up a solid fan following.

Its media partner, Star, has promoted the property very well and made it into a cash cow for the company. In fact, the popularity of the PKL is so much that established international betting sites such as Betway cover the entire Pro Kabaddi League with odds and betting markets for each match!

Now, however, it looks increasingly like we may not get a season of the PKL at all.

Does the PKL have sustaining power in the minds of the public?

There is so much competing for mind space right now that a complete absence from the market is considered to be a dangerous thing. The Pro Kabaddi League is taking a big risk if it decides not to have a season at all.

Not only is it leaving itself vulnerable to another copycat league but it is also risking the connection that fans have built with the players of the league. We personally believe that there is enough in the relationship bank to sustain a year off but there is no doubt that the PKL is going to have to pull out all the stops when it returns next year.

Is the PKL financially stable?

The players of the PKL make some very good money. All of that money is able to be paid by the franchisees only when they receive their share of the TV money. Stadium sponsorships and merchandise are just a small fraction of the entire amount that the franchisees make. No tournament means no TV money and that is a dangerous position for a young league to be in.

If the teams are not able to meet their contractual obligations then they may end up losing some of their bigger players leading to a cascading effect throughout the entire tournament. We have not heard any complaints from the players so far but that does not mean that they are all perfectly happy.

Are the sponsors going to stick with the PKL?

The economy is taking an unexpected downturn and who knows how long it is going to take to completely recover. In this scenario, some of the biggest companies in India are cutting down on their expenses. Sponsoring Kabaddi matches may not be a priority anymore.

It is likely that the Pro Kabaddi League will have to give some sort of concessions to its sponsors but that is not a big deal. It must be able to keep them on board for whenever the next edition of the tournament occurs.

If it cannot then sustaining the tournament may be a very difficult thing to do.