The much awaited Premier Badminton League ropes in Star Sports as the title sponsor. The league which will see the world’s top badminton names square off in India’s largest badminton tournament will not only be telecasted on Star Sports but Star Sports will also roll out innovative initiatives to create an immersive viewing experience. The competition’s stature as well as India’s prominence on global stage, the sport is central to Star Sports’ strategy to foster sporting culture in the country.
While Saina Nehwal, the country’s star shuttler is currently world number 2, others like PV Sindhu (12th) and Kidambi Srikanth (9th), have also made their mark internationally. With this new association, India’s largest broadcaster, Star Sports will bolster its association as it has already signed up as the League’s official broadcast partner.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India said: “The success of India’s badminton stars internationally has led to the emergence of a passionate fan base back home. As a result, like kabaddi, badminton is now a sport that’s very close to the hearts of Indian fans. The prospect of our home heroes facing up against the best the world has to offer in our own backyard was a prospect that was too tempting to pass up. Strategically, it also made the most business sense for Star Sports given our efforts to create a vibrant sporting ecosystem in the country.”
Star Sports will project telemetry like players’ heart rates live as an additional feature on screen. Also, it will hand out four awards after each day of play for the best rally, the fastest smash, the player of the day and the fan of the day as selected through contests run by franchises across locations. The league will be packaged like no other badminton tournament has been before, with lights and music adding further dazzle to an already riveting and star-studded spectacle.
Tweaks to the rules, like unpredictable player draws, ‘Trump Matches’ – which are worth bonus points – and the newly-introduced ‘sudden death’ rule will add a further dose of excitement to the tournament.