Industry News
Industry News

How “Hawk and Chicken” turned into a super league?

Kabaddi is one of the few sports disciplines that has withstood the trials of time, especially in India, where the sport originated. Even today, the sport enjoys rising popularity mainly due to the emergence of the Pro Kabaddi League (below referred to as “PKL”). Online betting for Kabaddi has turned into a highly popular pastime and a fierce contest among gamers and sports fans.

Have you ever played “Hawk and Chicken”?
National Geographic Channel refers to Kabaddi, which is a more intense version of “Hawk and Chicken” as an “Ancient Indian Sport.” This challenging sports discipline requires excellent agility, leg muscle endurance, and explosive power. Players must be able to withstand collisions comparable to American Football. They also need advanced kickboxing skills such as dashing, blocking, holding, and tackling. 

Kabaddi originated in the northern part of the country 4,000 years ago. Initially, its popularity was limited to the Punjab region. Later on, it caught on in all regions of the country and even in neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran. Due to its simple rules and the fact that it doesn’t require any props or other expenses, it is immensely popular in South Asia's poor farming villages.

Kabaddi wouldn’t be the same without PKL
PKL, the professional-level Kabaddi league in India, was launched in 2014 and is currently broadcast and promoted on the Star Sports Channel in India. Initially, a large number of people were highly skeptical about this sports league since it seemed a bit too unorthodox. However, statistics released at the end of the first PKL season revealed that 435 million viewers had watched the whole tournament, while 86.4 million alone had stayed glued to the final broadcast live on TV. After this impressive debut, no one had any doubts that PKL would turn into a great success.

Marshal Sports, a co-owner of the league, has recently issued an ITT (Invitation to Tender) for an open market media rights auction for 5 seasons (Season 8 – Season 12) of Pro Kabaddi League. Packages include Virtual Reality Rights, Gaming Rights, and Mobile Activation Rights. This not only further intensifies interactions with sports fans but also creates new possibilities for the continued growth of Kabaddi through the gaming market.