Poker Sports League Season 2 to be broadcast on TV this year
Poker Sports League, a unique initiative which brings together Poker enthusiasts from all across the world, is set to host its second season soon & is anticipating a much bigger attendance. PSL's successful inaugural launch earlier this year which enabled to gauge target audience & help boost the action during Season 2.
PSL Season 1, saw Delhi Panthers, owned by Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics take home INR 1.5 crore as prize money. The league in the inaugural year became an instant hit. Not just with the players on the table or the passionate franchisees following their teams but also with millions of other poker sport followers. Season One live streaming has registered 4.5 million views on FB. The PSL Final Table has recorded 1.28 million views – 10% more than the WSOP 2015 Main Event Final Table views on ESPN. The numbers will be any broadcasters delight as PSL is finalising a media rights partner for the second season, which has an enhanced budget for the league marketing, media activation, fan engagement and broadcast production.
The league aims to make poker a popular sport in India by putting together a combination of skill, mathematics, decision making and grit which are required in the right mix to emerge as a Poker champion. With a 150 crore commitment spread over eight years, the team owners have decided to continue their association with the league and 10 franchises have been signed for the next 8 years. The prize pool this year is INR 3.6 crores and the league will roll out with the online and live qualifiers from December onwards, leading to the final team selection in April 2018. The grand finale will be held in Goa in May 2018.
12 teams this year will consist of a total of ten players each, comprising of one mentor and captain, two pro-players, two from free live qualifiers, three from free online qualifiers and two wild-card entries. Each team will have professionals and amateurs co-exist and will include imparting knowledge and skill to the younger lot. While the first season saw 140 players getting drafted, this year with three player drafts close to 170 players can be eligible for participation. This year the plan also includes broadcasting the league on television other than online, to reach a much broader audience.
While talking about the launch of Season two, PSL Co founder & CEO Pranav Bagai said, "Two teams are up for grabs. There are interests. The league owners are looking to get the best of the best on board. We are opening up two teams for bidding to give an opportunity to all the poker lovers across the country to be a part of this fantastic growth story. Interested parties are welcome to connect with me through the Poker Sports League Website”.
The Season Two offers an opportunity for the people with passion for the sport and a mindset for business investment. The PSL commercial model assures an instant break even with a potential of certain growth with a little effort. PSL franchisee ownership rights for an eight-year period come for INR 9 crore. What works in an investors’ favour is the year-on-year fee structure. The right to enter the fray comes for a mere INR 57.5 lakh. Add to this INR 14 lakh on account of players’ salaries and the team gets ready to vie for a stake in the season’s prize purse of INR 3.6 crores. The elite sport, that poker is, also attracts elite sponsorship interests.
Franchisees get a workable business model with assured returns from the central pool income and a certain inventory to generate their own sponsorship revenues, which entirely goes to the respective franchisees’ account. From the central pool income, 50% is distributed among the franchisees. There is no cap or limit to each franchisees’ share from this pool, consisting of media rights, sponsorships, merchandising and other licensing revenues.
An even better deal lies in franchisees’ rights and scope to generate own income. Each franchisee gets a defined sponsorship inventory on TV, digital and social media platforms, live streams and offline branding along with exclusive branding (80%) at minimum 6 Live Qualifier Events per team. The existing franchisees committing to the entire available license period of eight years is a testimony to the fact that PSL as a product has won the first test to get acceptance from the stakeholders.
Commenting on the advent of second season, Amit Burman, Founder, Poker Sports League said, “The first season was only a trailer of what is set to become India’s first and only credible and fully carved out poker league. We received a sizeable response from both aspiring players and corporate's in the last season and are pleased to note, that the interest has only grown manifold.”
“With the emergence of massive online poker tournaments and fantasy leagues, the time is ripe for the Poker Sports League to formalize the poker story in India. With over twenty thousand qualifier participations pan India in the very first year, one can safely infer the potential of poker in the country. PSL in some sense is laying the foundation for an International tournament and has the right ingredients to become a global brand. It isnt wrong to say that PSL hopes to complete India’s growing poker eco-system,” Mr. Anuj Gupta, Co-Founder, Poker Sports League added.
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