Desperately in need of a revamp, kabaddi is enjoying a new lease of life through the Pro League. An astounding 288 million have turnred to their television sets to watch the PKL since its beginning.
Abhishek Bachchan, who addressed the media at the trophy unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, had a broad smile on his face while revealing that piece of statistic.
“Before the beginning of the League, we were expecting a TV viewership of 50 million,” he said. “But to get 288 million is unimaginable. All thanks to the coaches, players and Star for they have made kabaddi relevant once again,” said Bachchan.
That response, he maintained, exceeded the expectations of all the owners. “I speak on behalf of all the owners when I say I this – nobody expected such a big response. It has exceeded our expectations by 400 per cent.”
The Bollywood star, who owns Jaipur Pink Panthers who tops the league at this stage, also spoke about the passion he has for the sport. “That (celebrities) has nothing to do with the popularity of the league,” he pointed out.
“This is all about passion. Of course, it does not hurt to have celebrities for grabbing eyeballs but if you are not into it, it will not work. You should be in it for the right reasons.”
The junior Bachchan, who used to play the sport when he was a kid, said the format worked because its short duration. “It is very attractive because it gets over quickly and people get done with it before dinner.”