India’s most watched sport: Wrestling


When you think of Sports and India, the nation knows cricket is its religion! But times are changing in the sub-continent and there are a lot more sports making it mainstream television. The latest testament to that is wrestling becoming the most watched sport in 2018 as reported by the FICCI.

2018 has been a great for wrestling in India, both on and off the mat. Bajrang Poonja and Pooja Dhanda brought laurels on the mat. While the Wrestling League reached new viewership milestones, The Wrestling Federation of India has become the first Olympic sports’ governing body in the country to offer annual retainer ship to its top athlete.

Wrestling accounts for 20% share of the total sports viewership with Cricket coming a close second at 19%. They key watched categories within Wrestling were the WWE and the Pro Wrestling League. Volleyball more than doubled its viewership. 50% of the sports viewership comes from Wrestling Cricket and Kabaddi. However, there has actually been a drop in this combined percentage that stood at 73.

However, on the other hand, the Pro Kabaddi League showed a sharp fall of 31% in its viewership in the first 12 matches of the sixth season. Football however has remained out of the top five sports coming in at number seven.

Wrestling received a major boost when Tata Motors Commercial Vehicle decided to join hands and be the commercial partner of The Wrestling Federation of India. It was Sporty Solutionz, a professional sports management firm hired by the WFI, that helped land this deal. Looks like Wrestling is all set to take on the mats for 2019!