"This unprecedented growth makes Star Sports Pro Kabaddi the only domestic Indian sports league to witness a strong rise in viewership as compared to its inaugural season," said a media release here today.

The opening game on July 18 between defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers and last year's runners-up U Mumba rated 7.2 TVM (BARC panel CS 4+), which was 45 per cent higher than the opening game of last season (TAM Panel CS4+), the release said, adding that this surge in viewership is reflected through the opening week.

The appeal of the League has cut across demographics with the core, urban, youth audiences passionately following the game while women and children continued to contribute about 50 per cent of viewership, the release stated.

The League scored big on the digital front too, said the release, adding hotstar, the online broadcaster of the League, witnessed a massive interest from metros and the large cities.

"We have seen more than 15 times increase in online viewership already with 10.1 million viewers in the first week - vs last season where the entire tournament amassed 0.7 million viewers," the release added.

"We are overwhelmed and delighted to see the Indian fan's rediscovery and passionate following of the uber-cool, Indian sport of Kabaddi," said Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India.

"Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has grown from strength to strength and while season 1 was about re-discovering the game, season 2 has seen a deepening of engagement and appreciation for the sport and its heroes," he added.

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