Initial hiccups behind it, Premier Futsal gears up for Season 2 in Q1 of 2017
Premier Futsal will return for Season 2 in the first quarter of 2017 with eight franchises and across four cities. The Premier Futsal Management plans to host the league bi-annually from 2017 onwards. Premier Futsal is also in talks with international partners to ensure they reach out to a wider audience across more countries.
Sony Pictures Networks, who acquired the broadcast rights for the league, will continue to live telecast the matches on Sony Six, Sony ESPN and Sony Aath. Matches will also be available to live stream on Sony Liv.
A press note issued claimed that the inaugural edition of Premier Futsal was seen by over 50 million television viewers and was consumed by over 700 million people across almost 100 countries. Premier Futsal was also the first Indian sports league to stream all matches on Facebook live.
Premier Futsal Chairman, Xavier Britto, said, “We managed to get the biggest marquee players to our country for Premier Futsal and the fans in the stadium and those watching it on TV thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We are confident about what we are doing and, therefore, have decided to make Premier Futsal a bi-annual property. Riding on the success of Season 1, we will go back to our plan of playing with eight franchises and all the international Futsallers will go under the hammer for Season 2. We will be announcing the processes and auction dates over the course of the next one month. We are humbled and thank the Indian Government’s support for allowing Premier Futsal to introduce a new sport to the country and with their support, we wish to grow Futsal from strength to strength here.”
Dinesh Raj, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Premier Futsal, added here, “The first season was all about putting out a proof of concept. Like every league, we also faced several obstacles and criticism, but the success of Season 1 is for everyone to see. We already managed to reach out to over 700 million people across 100 countries and we intend to tap at least four more regions internationally with Season 2. We have several inquiries from international brands willing to partner with us and we are in an advanced stage of discussion with them. Given the response for Season 1, in India and overseas, several brands have reached out to us already and have met our expectations. We are confident of announcing our title sponsor over the course of next few weeks. Launchpad, our talent hunt programme, will stretch for 45 days and scout for talent from the eight franchise markets. We will be back, bigger and better for Season 2 of Premier Futsal.”
Season 1 of Premier Futsal saw former World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho; Manchester United Stalwarts - Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs; Ex-Chelsea & Inter-Milan forward Hernan Crespo; former Galactico Michel Salgado; and ‘Pele of Futsal’, Alessandro Rosa Viera, Falcao as marquee players for the six franchises.
Speaking about Season 1 of the league, Co-Founder and CEO, Abhinandan Balasubramanian, said, “We set out with a mission to give India a new fast-paced sport and with the first season of Premier Futsal, I think we are on the right track. The stadium attendance and social media reports suggest 35-40 per cent of the audience were women. We have started work towards packaging Premier Futsal as a sport for family audience. On an average, over five goals were scored every game and then obviously the finals also lived up to its expectations by going right down the wire and in to penalties. Of course, Ronaldinho’s fifer was a testament of his class and the also the format of Futsal.”
He further said, “This season, we will be making a few changes to the rules to make the game even faster. We are already in talks with multiple international Futsal Federations and several Futsal Clubs to reach out to a wider audience globally and consolidate our position as market leaders.”
The second edition of the league will see eight franchises divided in two groups to battle it across four venues to make it to the finals. The two new franchises will be assigned marquee international football players, six international and five Indian Futsallers each.
Premier Futsal Management is the founding and controlling entity of Premier Futsal. The company comprises Luis Figo, former World Soccer Player of the Year and Real Madrid FC legend, as President; Xavier Britto of Indev Logistics as primary investor & Chairman; Dinesh Raj as Managing Director; Abhinandan Balasubramanian as CEO & Director; Nithyashree Subban as Finance Director; and Vimala Britto as Director, Strategy.