The fifth season of Pro Kabaddi League was indeed a special one as Pardeep Narwal-led Patna Pirates won its third title in a row. During this season, the fans witnessed some nail-biting encounters including the final between Patna and Gujarat, which is now the most watched non-cricketing match ever in India. According to a press release by Star Sports, the PKL season 5 final recorded 26.2 million gross impressions and is now, the second most-watched match in India’s history. The top spot is bagged by this year’s Indian Premier League final between Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians which had recorded 39.4 million impressions.
The match between Patna and Pune went past PV Sindhu’s Rio Olympics 2016 final against Carolina Marin that held the second spot. This match had recorded 17.2 million impressions. This year’s Pro Kabaddi league kicked off in Hyderabad and travelled across 12 cities before the finale in Chennai. Apart from this, the 5th season of Pro Kabaddi League has now made it the most watched non-cricketing league in India. Its gross impressions stand at 313 million with a watch time of 100 billion minutes.
— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) October 29, 2017
“India has truly embraced kabaddi. This season was all about pushing boundaries. With an expanded league, there were 12 teams competing in more than 130 matches, spread across 13 weeks. The love for Kabaddi cutting across geographies and demographics is self-evident. It is very heartening to see this response from millions of fans across the country, which has emphatically re-established Kabaddi’s position as the most watched non-cricket sport synonymous with the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League,” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India about this remarkable feat.
The number of teams for this season of Pro Kabaddi was increased from 8 to 12. The tournament was played across three months, with some matches even clashing with Indian cricket team’s games. Yet, the league saw an unprecedented fanfare and support. Patna Pirates’ skipper Pardeep Narwal emerged as the leading raider of the tournament while Haryana Steelers’ Surender Nada was the best defender.