“We’re not setting a goal, but we know the power of the game. Can we anticipate how many people will watch it on Day 1, or 29 or season 4? No. But does the sport have the potential? Yes.”
– Charu Sharma, when asked about the kind of viewership he was was expecting.
The commentary and the constant camera cutting to celebrities didn’t matter to me one bit, because the action on the kabaddi mat was all I needed to be entertained. I loved it and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself!
While the few people I spoke about Pro Kabaddi shared my feeling of surprise satisfaction, Aakar Patel had a few other points to note about the first day of the tournament in his article.
“To watch kabaddi without ‘kabaddi-kabaddi-kabaddi’ was unfamiliar and unsettling and unsatisfying…”
“Someone won the toss. What did they decide? We didn’t know. The commentators didn’t know. Then the thing began…”
“Pro Kabaddi is so confusing even its own stars don’t know the rules…
Mumbai’s captain Anup Kumar was timed out on a 30-second rule. What is the rule? It wasn’t clear. Anup looked shocked. He was off to the “sitting blocks”. What are they and how does one get out? We don’t know…
The commentator said that Anup “will have to learn it quickly”. If the captain hasn’t learnt, what chance for the poor spectator?”
I didn’t completely agree with his views because I was more taken by the sport and the realization that watching kabaddi on television was actually very entertaining. Who doesn’t like a fast & tactical contact sport?
“Pro Kabaddi is actually made for television — once you can figure out what’s going on… (read more)
A report by The Economic Times showed that Pro Kabaddi’s Facebook page saw 3500 new fans added and over 30,000 people posting about the event. Twitter saw more than 6 million tweets about the first day with different hashtags tweeted within 12 hours of the broadcast.
Here are some of those tweets,
Like many of us have realised, Desai also acknowledges (as mentioned in hisarticle) that kabaddi is a sport for television.
“It is television-friendly, in that the playing arena is easy to contain on a television screen and the action happens in discrete steps that are easy to follow visually. For the layperson too, the sport is easy to get initiated for it works at a primitive level; victory and defeat are not technical contrivances but visually obvious outcomes.”
The overall response to Pro Kabaddi has been very positive. It is clear that the organiser, Mashal Sports, are relying on the natural entertaining ability of the sport, along with organic growth of its popularity during the first year.