The Pro Wrestling League (PWL), promoted by sports management agency ProSportify, has sustained its launch ratings to finish its inaugural season as the second most viewed non-cricket tournament after the Star Sports' Pro Kabaddi League. In doing so, PWL, played from December 10 to December 27, outperformed leagues such as The Hero Indian Super League (football), The Hero Hockey India League and the International Tennis Premier League.
PWL got an average viewership of 0.64 (ratings in percentage) for the first season with an average daily reach of 31 million. This measurement is for cable and satellite viewers above four years of age across India, according to data provided by the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC).
Ratings in percentage is the viewership which gives a measure of the number of people who saw the tournament at any given point in time. Reach refers to the total number of people who sampled the tournament.
Compared to other non-cricket leagues, PWL was only behind PKL in terms of ratings garnered in the metros.
The wrestling league got a rating of 0.85 in the metros, while the PKL recorded viewership of 0.90. Both were leaps ahead of the Hero ISL, which got a viewership of 0.32 in the metros. (To compare the three leagues, six metros' metric has been taken because the BARC measurement universe expanded after the PKL and thus all India numbers cannot be compared.)
Vishal Gurnani, director, ProSportify, says, "The tournament got a very positive response from the Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh region. The sport has a massive appeal there and has significant on-ground presence. While these states contributed to almost 90 per cent ratings on Sony Max, the on-ground response was also very encouraging with most of the matches held up north getting above 90 per cent occupancy."
PWL had six teams from Haryana, Punjab, Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bengaluru, with nine players each competing against each other for the inaugural title. Going forward, the tournament will have more teams. The auctions attracted close to Rs 11 crore in player acquisition money and the promoters are confident of attracting more teams and sponsors going forward. This year, PWL had sponsors in Thums Up and Dabur.
Kartikeya Sharma, CMD, ProSportify adds, "We are looking at adding two to three more teams for the 2016 season. We are in advance level talks for the same and have seen interest from Rajashtan, Bihar and Hyderabad." The second season of the tournament is expected to take place in the October-December quarter.
The promoters will be looking at signing up to nine sponsors this year - one title sponsor, one or two presenting sponsors and up to six associate sponsors.