Indian T20 League is one of the biggest tournaments in the world and fans, in specific, have the habit of comparing it to the famous football league, the English Premier League. However, several tournaments include the likes of the Kho Kho League and the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). Thanks to the awareness on social media, the viewership is growing steadily across the country, indicating a positive future for the country in the field.
For the unversed, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) reported that the 2022 edition of the PKL garnered a viewership of almost 222 million, an increase of 17.5 per cent as compared to the previous edition of the highly-competitive tournament. With every passing year, Kabaddi is getting long-due recognition and India is revamping the sport across the country.
Kho Kho League is the first professional league in the country and reportedly, it raked in a viewership of 184 million in 2022, hinting that central India is more interested in local sports than the Indian T20 League, although the cricket extravaganza remains undefeated at the top with 370 million in the previous edition.
Kabaddi can certainly compete with Test matches: Charu Sharma
Marshal Sports are the organisers of the PKL and its co-founder Charu Sharma admitted that the popularity of cricket could never be matched at present and in the future. However, Charu claimed that Kabaddi has the potential to match the Test format and garner viewership in the approaching days.
“I don’t think we can in any way compete with the popularity of T20 cricket in India. However, Kabaddi can certainly compete with Test matches in terms of growth, popularity, and acceptance,” Charu was quoted as saying to the Print. With regional sports finding back their old glory, one could understand that it is high time the country gets recognition in multinational tournaments hosted across the world. With the Indian Super League moulding India’s future in the case of football, it remains to be seen if the regional sports could get the same viewership as cricket in the near future.