The CEO of Pro Kabaddi League’s Mumbai franchise team, Supratik Sen, dismissed fears that an extended league would affect interest among fans of the league and feels it will, in fact, help build fan loyalty.
“Every prominent global sporting league is played across 6 to 10 months and we have noticed an appetite for the sport and don’t see viewer and fan fatigue at all. In fact we see an extended season allowing us to create an expanded viewer base and build fan loyalty,” said U Mumba’s Sen.
This extended leagues is a positive development for the team and the players. But the extended league also has us developing a new strategy for the increased number of games, while continuing to pursuing excellence and also accommodating for player and team fatigue.
“In 2016, we had two Pro Kabaddi seasons and through that year there no was dip in interest in the sport, as seen by TV ratings and ticket sales. A longer season will also be a boost for franchises as it increases potential for teams to increase on all revenue fronts or revenue buckets,” added Sen.
The upcoming season 5 of PKL will see a dozen franchise outfits, up from eight in season 4, fighting it out for the honours from July 28 to October 28.
The four new teams are Haryana Steelers, Tamil Thalaivas, Gujarat Fortunegiants and UP Yoddha.
His own team is geared up for the tougher challenge due to the longer season and increased matches, said Sen.
“As a team, we’ve always tried to take a different approach to everything we do. This season too is no different in terms of our approach. Our pre-season training camp kicked off in Dehradun closer to Mussoorie in the first week of June.
This camp site is an ideal location for a training boot camp as it allows for altitude training. Being cut-off from the city helps keep the focus completely on training,” he said.
“Our aim has always been to be a professionally run and consistently performing side, and having done that across 4 previous seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League, I do consider ourselves amongst one of the top Kabaddi teams. We also have been Champions in Season Two and finalists twice, which makes us a winning side,” he pointed out.