Sports management firm Mashal Sports is all set to open the tender process for the media rights of Pro Kabaddi League for the first time ever since the league started back in 2014. The rights will be awarded for seasons 8-12 of the Pro Kabaddi League (5 years) or until 2025, whichever is earlier.
The auction process will be online and will be held on 6th April 2021. The PKL media invitation to tender will be issued on 25 February. Entities who are interested can bid for four packages which are- television, digital, gaming and consolidated (combination of the three).
Mashal Sports has formed an independent committee for the auctions who will oversee the auction to make sure the auction is conducted fair and impartial.
Star India, which owns the 74% of stake in Mashal Sports has been the official broadcaster of the Pro Kabaddi league since the inception of the league. Star India has played a key role in making the league as good as it is today. But Conflict of interest and pressure from the PKL franchises for a better pay structure from the official Broadcaster has made Mashal Sports open the media rights auction for the first time after 2014.
The League Commissioner and Chief Executive of Mashal Sports, Anupum Goswami said to Economic times that ''We are going to conduct an e-auction for PKL. All the media rights – broadcast, digital and gaming – will be auctioned. As it is a market driven process, we feel there will be immediate increase in the value of PKL, which is the second largest league in the country after the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Initially the rights were set to be renewed from 2020 edition but due to Covid-19 Pandemic the 8th season of PKL had to be cancelled.
PKL 7 saw a huge spike in viewership with around 328 million viewers tuned up to watch PKL which registered 71 Billion minutes. it also registered 9% growth with 1.2 Billion impressions according to BARC. Which clearly makes it the next big sport in the country after Cricket.