November 29, 2014

New India Super League Has Fourth-Highest Attendance in Soccer: The India Super League began a month ago, hoping to bring soccer to prominence in a country where it was once the most popular sport. The league has brought on some older foreign stars -- Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezeguet -- and drew 56 million viewers to its opening matches. The league has eight teams, plays three months and does not relegate, although it plans a merger with the smaller, established I-League within five years. Organizers tout that it has the fourth-highest attendance of any league, ahead of Serie A and behind the Bundesliga, Premier League and La Liga. In a country of 1.2 billion, there are a lot of potential eyeballs. "Even a niche does very well for numbers," said Siddhanth Aney, editor of Sports Illustrated India. "You only need 1 percent of the TV audience to be successful."

posted by rcade to soccer at 01:24 PM - 2 comments

The Indian [and Chinese] sports markets are the future, and I'm surprised it took this long for someone to try and capitalize on it.

Like they said, 1% share is still over 100million, so it might be worth it to try.

posted by grum@work at 07:00 PM on November 30, 2014

During the Winter Olympics there was an Indian athlete in the luge and he had to wear an Olympic flag instead of his own because of a ban. He finished 37th out of 39 and was, to quote the link, the country's "top winter sports athlete."

Watching him compete like a lovable underdog Jamaican bobsledder, I found it hard to believe a country as populous as India could put such a low priority on Olympic success.

posted by rcade at 07:41 PM on November 30, 2014

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