Summit report on business of sports & entertainment

The prominence of franchise-based professional leagues across sporting disciplines in India and the way forward to viability emerged as one of the themes at a summit on business of sports & entertainment, launched by KPMG in association with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

Regional sports like kabaddi, presented in a viewer-friendly format, is showing the way via bi-annual Pro Kabaddi League.

The coming kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad is an effort to capitalise on the assured viewership for the sport and fan following for individual players, most of whom have donned national colours in international competitions.

Football, tennis, badminton, wrestling and pro boxing leagues were launched with varied success.

The Indian Super League third season will commence next month.

Relevant factors
Highlighting the high investments and long gestation periods required to make the business of sporting leagues feasible, the report suggests focus on fan engagement, celebrity influence, geographic location and overall management apart from on field showing by franchise teams as the relevant factors.

PKL and ISL gained popularity because of the promoters’ success in managing most of the above criteria.

After the highly-visible Indian Premier League, the ISL has managed to bring in new audience due to the presence of celebrities to promote teams and internationally known footballers as marquee players. PKL succeeded in attracting new television viewers due to the visual package and tweaked rules to make kabaddi more action-packed.

Players have become household names across the nation and drawing more youngsters to the sport.

The effect of social media in influencing public perception of sports and sporting performers is another aspect touched upon in the KPMG-CII study.