An ecstatic Abhishek Bachchan, owner of ProKabaddi League franchise Jaipur Pink Panthers, has stated that the response to the league has “exceeded all expectations”.
Bachchan, who was in the city to watch his team’s match against Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday, said: “I speak on behalf of all the owners when I say that the ProKabaddi League has exceeded all expectations.
“Before the league began, my team and I expected the television viewership to be around 50 million. To get 288 million viewers is absolutely unbelievable.”
The actor credited the success to a combined effort from everyone involved with the event.
“The excellent programme packaging — the stadium lights, camera angles — provided by STAR Sports and Mashal Sports (tournament promoters) has attracted millions of eyeballs.
“The matches last for just 40 minutes, which makes for a comfortable viewing experience.
“A full match can easily fit into anyone’s daily routine,” Bachchan said, at the trophy unveiling function at a city hotel here. Bachchan added that the biggest advertisement for the league was the quality of action on offer.
“The level of athleticism among the players is tremendous. The effective tactical inputs from all the coaches must be lauded as well.
“They have now made kabaddi a relevant sport. They have my respect for displaying their skills in front of such a big audience,” he said.
Bachchan was pleased to “tap into the extensive urban youth market.”
“It is even more heartening to see that the league has huge appeal among women,” he said.
Asked about his long-term plans, Bachchan replied: “All the owners have signed for a period of 10 years, and I will continue my association for as long as possible.
“I do have two long-term goals — the first to start a professional kabaddi league for women, and the second to keep the sport in the limelight for longer periods.”