Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament. It is an initiative of Mashal Sports. The league is now the biggest sports league in India, with 94% viewership in India and 82% from the world. The League was founded in 2014 with the inaugural 2014 edition of the tournament being played between eight franchises representing eight Indian cities respectively. The league has a “caravan format,” with the teams travelling together to all the venues to play. The organizing company Mashal Sports was co-founded by Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group and Mr. Charu Sharma, director of Mashal Sports. Star India acquired a 74% stake in Mashal Sports, and now has control over the entire league as a majority owner of Mashal Sports. Mashal Sports has acquired the rights to organize the league for a period of ten years from International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) with an option to renew it further.

Broadcasting rights

Star Sports was named as the official broadcaster in May 2014 with the online rights going to Starsports.com. In 2015, hotstar and starsports.com were the online broadcaster for Prokabaddi. Fox Sports serves as the official United States broadcaster for this league. The Commonwealth Broadcasting Network, a service of the Asian Television Network, serves as the official broadcaster for Prokabaddi in Canada. ESPN serves as the official broadcaster for Prokabaddi in Brazil, the Spanish-speaking Latin America and Commonwealth Caribbean countries

Season 1 (2014)

The first signing and auction of players for the 8 teams was held on 20 May 2014 in Mumbai. India’s national kabaddi captain Rakesh Kumar was the priciest among the players bought for Rs.12.80 lakh by the Patna Pirates. Sports Authority of India’s Deepak Nivas was bought by Telugu Titans franchise for Rs.12.90 lakh. Mostafa Noudehi was the highest paid overseas player bought for Rs.6.6 lakh by Pune franchise.

The first season was played from 26 July 2014 to 31 August 2014. There were double round robin matches along with two semi finals, third place and final games. 56 games were played in first round and 4 in play off stage making a total of 60 games. 8 teams took part in first edition. In the finals, played at Mumbai, on August 31 Jaipur Pink Panthers beat U Mumba by 35-24 to win the inaugural Pro Kabaddi League.

Season 2 (2015)

Season 2 took place from July 18 to 23 August 2015. There were a total of 60 matches played with two semifinals, a third place play-off and a final. The final was played on August 23 at Mumbai between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls. U Mumba beat Bengaluru Bulls by 36-30 to win the 2015 season of Pro Kabaddi League.

Season 3 (2016)

Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 3 had two editions. The COO of Star India, Mr. Sanjay Gupta said that Star Sports Pro Kabaddi wanted to make Pro Kabaddi, a 5-week event, to expand to a 10 week event by having two editions in a year. The idea was to host the tournament twice, first in January–February 2016 and second in June–July 2016. It also had 8 teams. Patna Pirates beat U Mumba by 3 Points in the finals held in Delhi to take home the trophy.

Season 4 (2016)

The fourth season took place from June 25 to July 31, with the existing eight teams participating. Patna Pirates lifted the trophy for the second consecutive time when they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final.

Season 5 (2017)

The fifth season will take place from July to October 2017 and it will feature a total of 12 teams including four new teams from UP, Haryana, Tamil Nadu & Gujarat. The league will now become India’s biggest league with 12 teams, 130+ matches and 13 weeks of competition. This time, there would be opening ceremonies in all the stadiums just like that in IPL.

VIVO has bagged the title sponsorship rights of the Pro Kabaddi League for 5 years from now.

Prize Money

Prize money for winner of this international competition is INR 3 crore. Also the first and second runner ups will be rewarded with prize of INR 2 crore and INR 1 crore respectively.

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