In a major boost for the sport, the Prime Volleyball League (PVL) garnered the support of five of the six original team owners of the now defunct Pro Volleyball League, as well as broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), who has signed a long-term broadcast partnership with the owners of the league.
Created by sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures, the new league heralds a radical departure from the traditional model of franchise-based sports leagues in the country, after having to relinquish rights to Pro Volleyball due to disagreements with the Indian Federation. volleyball. (PFD).
While Baseline won the Best Law and Arbitration Award – VFI has yet to pay Rs 6 crore due to Baseline – the company has gone ahead and worked on a model consistent with top international leagues like the NBA (National Basketball Association) and Major. League Soccer (MLS), in which franchise owners are also stakeholders in the league’s holding organization.
PVL’s first season, which is slated to kick off early next year, will see six franchises. Five original franchises – Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks and Chennai Blitz – will be joined by newcomer Bengaluru Torpedoes, owned by Ankit Nagori (Founder, EatFit).
Tuhin Mishra, managing director of Baseline Ventures, said that even before being officially released to market, the league signed fantasy games company A23 as “Powered By” sponsors for both ground and home broadcasts. antenna for several seasons.
“We have already seen the quality of talent in the country; our effort is to provide this talent with the right kind of platform to grow, ”said Joy Bhattacharjya, CEO of the Prime Volleyball League. “This kind of structure, where franchises are committed to the long term, gives the game the opportunity to develop steadily, and it is the best possible thing for Indian volleyball.”
We learn that all teams will have to spend nearly Rs 3 crore per year. The new franchises will also have an option to buy into the league.
Thomas Muthoot of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, owner of Kochi Blue Spikers, said: “Our first association with sport in 2019 was very successful. We are delighted to continue this association with this new structure which is win-win for both franchises and players. ”
The format offers more value to team owners and investors, and promotes long-term associations and a stable financial structure.
The league will be broadcast on SPN and will be exclusively marketed by Baseline Ventures.
“There is a huge appetite for volleyball in India and in fact it was one of the most watched sports during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on our network even though there was no Indian participation” said Neville Bastawalla, SVP & Head – Marketing & On Air Promotions, Sports Channels at SPN. “The league’s success last time around, combined with the high octane action of the sport, makes PVL a great addition to SPN’s sports portfolio. We wish to work closely with the league stakeholders to build both the league and the sport with viewers in India. ”
Deepak Gullapalli, CEO of Digital Works, owner of A23, said that while fantasy sports are developing at a breakneck pace, A23 is still looking to broaden the appeal of the sport both within and beyond cricket.
“Volleyball, with its pervasive urban and rural appeal, is a huge area for potential growth, and our fantastic bespoke volleyball offering will drive a whole new set of consumers to the sport,” said Gullapalli.
The league has partnered with Piston Des Sports to create a portal for potential players and coaching staff to register and have the opportunity to be a part of the action.