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Sports Leagues in India

Sporting leagues in India have come a long way since the inception of IPL -Indian Premier League in 2008. Owing to the success of leagues like IPL, ISL, PKL new league have been initiated like the Pro-Volleyball League (PVL) among others. This post shows the top sporting leagues that is based on the franchise model and having a huge following in India.

Franchise based sporting leagues in India

IPL – Indian Premier League

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was launched by BCCI in 2008 and Lalit Modi (then BCCI vice-president) is considered the brains behind the entire structure of the IPL including the franchise system, format etc. It is run between the month of March-April and is one of the most-watched league in the world. Vivo is the official sponsor and the league is called the Vivo IPL.

It was the first sporting event to broadcast live on YouTube in 2010 and the according to the financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, the brand value of IPL in 2019 was ₹475 billion.

There have been 12 editions of IPL from 2008-2019 with the latest edition in 2019 being won by Mumbai Indians. IPL 2020 has been postponed due to the outbreak of corona pandemic. View the Top 10 IPl Records.

ISL – Indian Super League

The Indian Super League (ISL), a football league was founded in 2013 in partnership with IMG, Reliance Industries and Start Sports and the first edition was organized in 2014 with eight teams. It is a franchise system on the same lines as the IPL and currently organized by the Football Sports Development (FSDL) under the aegis of All India Football Federation (AIFF). Hero being the sponsor, it is called officially as the Hero Indian Super League.

In 2017-18 season the league got recognition from Asian Football Federation, the governing body of football in Asia. Currently the league over a period of five months from Sep – Feb.

ATK has won the tournament three times with the latest being the 2019-20 ISL season.

PKL – Pro Kabaddi League

The Pro Kabaddi League owes its inception due to the Kabaddi tournament in 2006 Asian games and also popularity of the franchise based leagues like the IPL. The first season of PKL was held in 2014 with eight teams and broadcast on Star Sports.

The inaugural season in 2014 was watched by 435 million viewers and firmly established the league as a major sporting event in India. The league is usually played over a period of 4 month and has gone through 7 editions since its launch in 2014. The 2019 edition (Season 7) was won by Bengal Warriors.

PBL – Premier Badminton League

The League was started in 2013 under the name of Indian Badminton League and later renamed to Premier Badminton League in 2016. The league is organize and managed by Sportzlive.

The league has eight teams and usually runs in Dec-Jan. The last edition of PBL 2020 ended on Feb 9, 2020 with Bengaluru Raptors retaining the title after the title earlier in 2018-19.

HIL – Hockey India League

Hockey India League was founded in 2013 and is managed by Hockey India. The league consists of six franchise teams playing over a two-month period from Jan-Mar. The last edition of Hockey India League was held in 2017 with Kalinga Lancers winning the title.

PVL – Pro Volleyball League

The Pro Volleyball League was launched recently in 2019 and is an initiative by Volleyball Federation of India and Baseline Ventures. It is officially called as RuPay Pro Volleyball League after the sponsor.

The inaugural edition had six teams and was held in Feb-2019 with Chennai Spartans winning the title.

PWL – Pro Wrestling League

The Pro Wrestling League was started by the Wrestling Federation of India and ProSportify and was launched in 2015. The league has a franchise system of six teams representing different cities of India and has gone through four editions since its launch.

The last edition was held in 2019 with Haryana Hammers winning their first title.

UTT – Ultimate Table Tennis

Ultimate Table Tennis was launched in 2017 by Table Tennis Federation of India and consists of a franchise system with six teams. It is organized by 11Sports promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani and is broadcasted on Start Sports.

There has been three edition of UTT held from 2017 to 2019 with the latest edition in 2019 being won by Chennai Lions (first title).

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