Most Popular Top 3 Sports Leagues | Cash-Rich and World-Class Sports Leagues

Discover the ultimate resource on the most popular top 3 cash-rich and world-class sports leagues in India. Explore in-depth analysis, player insights, financial aspects, and more. Gain valuable knowledge about Most Popular Top 3 Sports Leagues and their impact on the sports industry. Unlock the secrets to their success and dominance in this comprehensive article.

Sports Leagues in India

India, renowned as one of the world’s biggest spenders on sports, consistently delivers top-notch athletic events. It is known for its unwavering commitment to quality sportsmanship and fierce competition, both at the national and international levels. Within India, there exists a multitude of domestic leagues that capture the nation’s passion for sports.

Therefore, This comprehensive article dives into the realm of India’s most popular, cash-rich, and world-class sports leagues, shedding light on the Top 3 leagues that dominate the scene. Additionally, Notable among these leagues are the Indian Premier League (IPL), which captivates cricket enthusiasts worldwide, the Prime Volleyball League (PVL) which showcases the best volleyball talents, and the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league, fostering intense battles on the table. 

However, these leagues represent just a fraction of the high-quality professional leagues in India, with additional prominent leagues like the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Indian Super League (ISL), Premier Badminton League (PBL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Karnataka Premier League (KPL), and Pro Wrestling League (PWL). 

Moreover, The Indian nation consistently seizes every opportunity to indulge in a captivating sports spectacle, reaffirming its commitment to providing unrivaled entertainment. Embark on a journey through this captivating article to explore the vibrant world of Indian sports and the leagues that continue to captivate fans across the country.

Indians are a sports-loving nation, embracing a diverse array of sports that captivate millions of fans across the country. Therefore, From the thrilling intensity of Kabaddi and Badminton to the high-energy action of Volleyball, Hockey, Football, Cricket, and Table Tennis, India boasts a passionate following for each of these sports. Among them, cricket holds a special place as the nation’s most beloved and sought-after sport, captivating the hearts of countless Indians.

Moreover, The fervor for sports runs deep in the veins of the Indian populace, with fans eagerly flocking to stadiums to witness their favorite teams and players in action. The sports industry in India has witnessed remarkable growth and transformation, serving as a catalyst for immense excitement and emotions. Crowds, whether for national or international matches, consistently fill sports arenas, creating an electrifying atmosphere that resonates with the passion of the Indian people.

Furthermore, India’s investment in sports leagues has been substantial, reaping significant financial returns. These leagues have not only bolstered the sports industry but also become instrumental in shaping its growth. Although the Indian sports industry has encountered its fair share of controversies, these leagues have emerged as key contributors, propelling its development to new heights.

Additionally, If you’re seeking insight into the top three sports leagues that reign supreme in terms of popularity, fan following, and widespread admiration in India, this article provides an exhaustive analysis. Additionally, it is noteworthy that while the games may differ, the unwavering energy and unwavering support from fans remain constant across every sport. Every Indian harbor their own cherished team and favorite players, never missing an opportunity to cheer and rally behind them. Presented below are the top three sports leagues in India that garner immense viewership, participation, and loyalty.

  • Cricket 
  • Football
  • Kabaddi

India is Sports friendly country, These sports leagues represent the epitome of excellence, showcasing exceptional talent, fierce competition, and enthralling gameplay. With their substantial financial resources and global recognition, these leagues have established themselves as beacons of success in the Indian sports landscape.

Let’s delve into the realm of India’s most illustrious sports leagues as we unveil the Top 3 Cash-Rich and World-Class contenders. This section presents a comprehensive analysis, considering factors such as net worth, popularity, and the fervent fan base that propels these leagues to greatness. India, known for its business-oriented mindset, attracts sponsorship from multinational giants like VIVO, BAJAJ, AMBANI, TATA, and more. 

Moreover, These esteemed companies have played a pivotal role in fostering the growth and development of the sports industry in the country. Brace yourself for a closer look at the most revered and celebrated sports leagues that capture the hearts and minds of the Indian audience.

Therefore, The first on the list is the Indian Premier League (IPL), a cricket presentation that transcends boundaries and captures the imagination of millions. Renowned for its star-studded lineups, high-intensity matches, and massive fan following, the IPL has revolutionized the world of cricket and become a global phenomenon.

Next in the list is the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), a thrilling spectacle that has revived the ancient sport of Kabaddi and propelled it into the mainstream. With its unique blend of athleticism, strategy, and non-stop action, the PKL has gripped the nation, captivating fans with its electrifying matches and iconic players.

Rounding off the top three is the Indian Super League (ISL), a football league that has redefined the sport’s popularity in the country. Boasting top international and domestic talent, the ISL has brought the excitement of football to Indian shores, igniting a passion for the beautiful game and fostering a new generation of football enthusiasts.

Thus, These sports leagues have transcended mere sporting events to become cultural phenomena, drawing immense support from fans across the nation. Their impact extends beyond the playing field, with a ripple effect that benefits the entire sports industry and economy of India.

As we explore the captivating world of these top-tier sports leagues, prepare to be enthralled by the unparalleled talent, pulsating matches, and unwavering passion that defines Indian sports. These leagues have cemented their status as cash-rich, world-class entities, captivating audiences and leaving an indelible mark on the sports landscape of India. Therefore, below are the details of the Top 3 Most Popular Cash-Rich and World-Class Sports Leagues in India.

Indian Premier League (IPL)

Cricket brings immense joy to Indians and holds a special place as one of the most popular sports in India. The Indian Premier League (IPL) takes the spotlight as the second-largest T20 cricket tournament worldwide, following the World Cup. Zee Entertainment stepped up as the generous sponsor for the IPL, fueling its growth. In 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched this thrilling league, capturing the hearts of cricket enthusiasts nationwide.

The IPL, eagerly anticipated and adored by millions, stands as India’s most anticipated cricket event. It reigns as the most-watched T20 men’s cricket league in India and across the globe. Notably, the entire IPL 2010 season was broadcasted live on YouTube, making it the first-ever sports event to be streamed on the platform.

The inaugural season of IPL took place in 2008, featuring eight teams representing Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Mumbai, Mohali, and Kolkata. As the league progressed, two new teams, Pune and Kerala, were added to the tournament in 2010, further enriching the excitement.

The IPL continues to captivate cricket fans with its action-packed matches, talented players, and nail-biting competition. This dynamic league has become an integral part of Indian cricket culture, providing unforgettable moments and thrilling encounters year after year. Read More about IPL 2024.

Dissolved IPL Teams

Presently, the IPL consists of ten teams. Over the course of 15 years, certain circumstances led to the discontinuation of five teams from participating in the Indian Premier League. Let’s take a look at the list of these dissolved IPL teams:

  • Gujarat Lions
  • Rising Pune Supergiant
  • Deccan Chargers
  • Pune Warriors India
  • Kochi Tuskers Kerala

These teams, for various reasons, ceased to be part of the IPL, but their contributions and moments in the league remain part of its rich history.

IPL 2024 Teams

The seventeenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), IPL 2024, will feature a total of 10 teams. Below is a list of the current IPL teams

  1. Gujarat Titans (GT)
  2. Punjab Kings (PBKS)
  3. Mumbai Indians (MI)
  4. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
  5. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
  6. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
  7. Delhi Capitals (DC)
  8. Rajasthan Royals (RR)
  9. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
  10. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)

These teams will compete in the thrilling IPL 2024 season, showcasing their skills and vying for the coveted title.

IPL 2024 Prize Money

The IPL, one of the top three most popular cash-rich and world-class sports leagues in India, takes place annually between March and May. This prestigious tournament attracts renowned international cricket players to India, adding to its global appeal. With a staggering net brand value of approximately $6.2 billion (US) or 47,500 crores INR, the IPL solidifies its position as one of the richest sports leagues in the world.

The prize money for the IPL amounts to around $6.9 million (US) or 50 crores INR. The distribution of this prize money is as follows:

  • IPL Winner: $2.8 million (20 crores INR)
  • IPL Runner-up: $1.6 million (12.5 crores INR)
  • IPL 3rd Position: $1.1 million (8.75 crores INR)
  • IPL 4th Position: $1.1 million (8.75 crores INR)

These significant prize amounts reflect the fierce competition and the high stakes involved in the IPL, making it a thrilling and highly anticipated sporting event each year.

IPL Betting:

The popularity of betting on IPL matches has been on the rise in India, captivating the attention of fans. With a penchant for risky games, many IPL enthusiasts engage in betting activities to try their luck and potentially earn quick money. The thrill of the live matches combined with the possibility of winning bets entices a significant portion of IPL fans to participate in this form of entertainment.

In fact, during IPL 2019, an astonishing 400 million cricket fans actively placed bets amounting to a staggering 5,000 crores INR in each IPL match. The economic impact of the IPL extends beyond the realm of sports and entertainment. It has been confirmed by authorities that the IPL contributes to the overall GDP growth of India. 

For instance, in the year 2015, the IPL made a substantial contribution of approximately $160 million (11.5 billion INR) to India’s GDP. Moreover, This remarkable financial boost highlights the significant role that the IPL plays in bolstering the country’s economy and creating various avenues for employment, tourism, and business opportunities. Alongside its massive fan following and financial implications, the IPL has become a cultural phenomenon that unites people across the nation. 

Furthermore, It transcends regional boundaries and brings together cricket enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. The IPL has emerged as a unifying force, fostering a sense of pride and camaraderie among Indians as they rally behind their favorite teams. The fervor and passion that surround the IPL matches create a unique atmosphere, where millions of fans come together, both physically and virtually, to celebrate the spirit of cricket and revel in the excitement of this grand sporting spectacle.

Indian Super League (ISL)

When it comes to popularity, Cricket has surpassed every other sport in India, despite hockey being considered the national sport.  Therefore, Among the top three most popular and cash-rich sports leagues in India, the Indian Super League (ISL) stands out as a significant cricket league on a global scale. However, football holds the title of the most popular sport worldwide. 

The ISL, a professional men’s football league in India, has played a pivotal role in elevating the level of football in the country. Moreover, The establishment of the ISL was made possible through funding provided by Hero MotoCorp, adding excitement and anticipation to the league’s inception. In collaboration with the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) officially announced the Indian Super League in 2013, marking a milestone for Indian football.

The opening season of the ISL took place in 2014, featuring eight participant teams. FC Goa, ATK, NorthEast United FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Pune City, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, and Delhi Dynamos FC were the initial football clubs to participate in this exhilarating tournament. In 2020, two new teams, Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal, joined the ranks of the Indian Super League, further adding to the excitement and competitive spirit of the league.

Furthermore, The Indian Super League has not only captured the attention of football enthusiasts but has also contributed significantly to the growth and development of football in India. With its high-quality matches and passionate fan base, the ISL has propelled Indian football to new heights, making it an integral part of the country’s sporting landscape.

ISL Teams Changes since 2013

Over the years the Indian Super League (ISL) has undergone several changes, shaping the landscape of Indian football. Unfortunately, FC Pune City was unable to continue their participation in the ISL due to certain reasons, leading to their departure from the league.

In an intriguing development, two prominent ISL teams, ATK and Mohun Bagan, merged to form a formidable entity known as ATK Mohun Bagan Football Club. This merger brought together the rich legacies and passionate fan bases of both clubs, creating a powerhouse team that aims to dominate the ISL.

Furthermore, another change in the league came in the form of a team name alteration. The Delhi Dynamos underwent a transformation and rebranded themselves as Odisha FC. This change reflects the team’s desire to forge a new identity and establish a stronger connection with the state of Odisha.

Therefore, These changes within the ISL demonstrate the dynamic nature of the league and the continuous efforts to improve and evolve. As the league progresses, new developments and transformations are expected to further elevate the excitement and competitiveness of Indian football.

ISL 2024 Teams

The ISL 2024 is scheduled to start from 08 to 12 July 2024. Therefore, The upcoming edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2024 will feature eleven clubs representing eleven different cities across India. The current participating teams in the ISL are as follows:

  1. FC Goa
  2. SC East Bengal
  3. ATK Mohun Bagan
  4. NorthEast United FC
  5. Chennaiyin FC
  6. Hyderabad FC
  7. Odisha FC
  8. Mumbai City FC
  9. Jamshedpur FC
  10. Bengaluru FC
  11. Kerala Blasters FC

Moreover, The ISL attracts renowned international footballers from around the world, adding to the excitement and competitiveness of the league. Each team in the ISL competes in a round-robin format, playing two matches against every other team in the league. Since its inception in 2013, the Indian Super League has completed nine successful seasons, showcasing the growth and popularity of football in India. 

The eagerly anticipated 10th season of the ISL is scheduled to commence on October 6th, 2023. While the official net brand value of the Indian Super League has not been publicly disclosed by its management, a projection estimates the brand value to be approximately 45-50 million USD, equivalent to 350-400 crores INR.

Therefore, The ISL continues to captivate football enthusiasts across the country and play a crucial role in the development and promotion of the sport in India.

ISL 2024 Prize Money

The Indian Super League (ISL) offers a substantial prize pool for its participants, with total prize money of approximately 2 million USD, equivalent to around 15.5 crores INR. The distribution of the prize money follows the following pattern:

ISL Winner – 40% of the total prize money: The team that emerges victorious in the ISL clinches the lion’s share of the prize pool, receiving 40% of the total prize money.

ISL Runner-up – 30% of the total prize money: The team that finishes as the runner-up in the ISL earns a significant portion of the prize money, accounting for 30% of the total prize pool.

Third Position – 20% of the total prize money: The team that secures the third position in the ISL is awarded 20% of the total prize money as a testament to their strong performance throughout the tournament.

Fourth Position – 10% of the total prize money: The team that finishes in the fourth position in the ISL receives 10% of the total prize money, acknowledging their commendable efforts in the competition.

Moreover, This distribution of the prize money ensures that the top-performing teams in the Indian Super League are duly rewarded for their achievements, adding to the competitiveness and excitement of the league. Therefore, Below are the ISL prizes for ISL winner 2024.

  • ISL Winner – 6 Crores INR
  • ISL Runner up – 3 Crores INR
  • ISL League Stage Winner – 3.5 Crores INR
  • ISL 3rd Position – 1.5 Crores INR
  • ISL 4th Position – 1.5 Crores INR

Indian Super League Facts

In addition to the general prize money distribution, there are specific scenarios that warrant special consideration in the Indian Super League (ISL) regarding the league stage winners. The prize money distribution in these cases is as follows:

League Stage Winner and Runner-up: If a team emerges as the winner of the league stage and also finishes as the runner-up in the ISL, they will be awarded a total prize money of 6.5 crores INR.

League Stage Winner and ISL Winner: If the team that tops the league stage also becomes the overall winner of the Indian Super League, they will receive a higher prize money of 9.5 crores INR.

League Stage Winner and Position 3rd or 4th: If the team that finishes as the league stage winner (Table Topper) also secures either the third or fourth position in the ISL, they will be entitled to a prize money of 5 crores INR.

Therefore, These additional prize money allocations recognize exceptional performances during the league stage and account for various scenarios where teams achieve multiple milestones in the Indian Super League.

Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)

Kabaddi is 3rd in the list of Top 3 Cash-Rich and World-Class Sports Leagues in India and has witnessed a significant rise in its viewership and fan base in recent years. At the forefront of promoting and showcasing this thrilling sport is the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which has emerged as one of the premier kabaddi tournaments worldwide. 

Moreover, In kabaddi, the physical fitness, power, and strength of players play a crucial role, making it an intense and captivating sport for both participants and spectators alike. The Pro Kabaddi League has revolutionized kabaddi in India by providing a platform that combines skill, strategy, and entertainment. With its modern approach, PKL has added a fresh and dynamic perspective to the traditional sport, attracting a diverse audience and rejuvenating the interest in kabaddi among the masses.

Furthermore, The league has played a pivotal role in not only popularizing kabaddi but also nurturing talent and providing opportunities for aspiring players to showcase their skills on a grand stage.

As India’s third most popular, cash-rich, and world-class sports league, the Pro Kabaddi League continues to expand and captivate audiences across the country. In its inaugural year of 2014, PKL commenced with eight teams, namely Patna Pirates, Bengaluru Bulls, Bengal Warriors, Puneri Paltan, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Telugu Titans, U Mumba, and Dabang Delhi.

Therefore, Recognizing its immense success and growing popularity, the league expanded in 2017 to include four more teams, namely Gujarat Fortune Giants, Tamil Thalaivas, UP Yoddha, and Haryana Steelers. The addition of these teams not only broadened the geographical representation but also intensified the competition, creating an even more exhilarating experience for fans and players alike. 

Additionally, With each season, the Pro Kabaddi League continues to captivate the nation, serving as a testament to the remarkable growth and potential of kabaddi as a mainstream sport in India.

PKL Teams Changes Since 2014

Since the start of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in 2014, most teams have maintained their original names throughout the tournament. However, there was a notable exception when one team decided to undergo a name change.

The Gujarat-based team made this decision primarily due to sponsorship-related considerations. Moreover, Originally known as the Gujarat Fortune Giants, they embraced a fresh identity and emerged as the Gujarat Giants. This transformation allowed them to maintain their representation of the vibrant state of Gujarat while also embracing a new chapter in their journey. 

PKL 2023 Teams

A total of 12 teams will participate in the PKL 2023 season. These twelve teams are listed below. 

  1. Puneri Paltan
  2. UP Yoddha
  3. Bengaluru Bulls
  4. Telugu Titans
  5. Patna Pirates
  6. Dabang Delhi KC
  7. Tamil Thalaivas
  8. U Mumba
  9. Haryana Steelers
  10. Bengal Warriors
  11. Gujarat Giants

PKL 2023 Prize Money

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has set a special place in the hearts of Indian fans, as it is one of the most popular and beloved leagues in the country. Being the largest kabaddi league in India. Moreover, PKL has garnered immense attention and following. Notably, it attracts a significant number of foreign players, with kabaddi players from Iran and Korea actively participating in the league. The impressive net brand worth of PKL stands at $33 Million, equivalent to 262 crores INR.

Furthermore, PKL offers a substantial amount of $1 Million, approximately eight crores INR. The distribution of this prize money is outlined as follows:

PKL Winner will get more than 3 crores INR

PKL Runner-Up will get more than 1.8 crores INR

PKL 3rd Position will get more than 90 lacs INR

PKL 4th Position will get more than 90 lacs INR

PKL 5th Position will get more than 45 lacs INR

PKL 6th Position will get more than 45 lacs INR

Moreover, PKL will distribute individual prizes. Fifty-Five lacs of prize money are awarded to the individual players in PKL. 

The Most Valuable Player of the tournament will get more than 15 lacs INR

Best Raider will get more than 10 lacs INR

Ace Defender will get more than 10 lacs INR

Sports Debutant will get more than 8 lacs INR

Best Male Referee 3.5 lacs INR

Best Female Referee – 3.5 lacs INR


Which sports league is more popular, IPL or ISL?

Indian Premier League Aka IPL, which played its first season in 2008, is currently more popular in India. However, ISL, started in 2014, is India’s second most prominent and followed league. Moreover, With time, ISL has the potential to surpass IPL and become the biggest league in India.

Which sports league is highly popular in India and why?

Indians are a sports-friendly nation. Cricket holds worldwide dominance, and it is most loved and played by Indians and Asians. Therefore, the IPL, being a cricket league, enjoys tremendous popularity in India. However, ISL, as a football league, has a significant following as well, as India has a substantial number of football enthusiasts.

Which sport has the highest financial value in India?

Cricket is the most popular sport in India, with a main fan base and a strong emotional connection. The Indian national team’s successes in ICC World Cups and series have further raised its popularity. Moreover, India hosts one of the most-watched and followed cricket leagues, the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has a net brand worth of approximately $6.5 billion (USD) making it one of the richest sports leagues in the world.

Is Kabaddi gaining popularity in India?

While Cricket is the most popular game in India Kabaddi has been experiencing a rise in popularity in India. The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which started in 2014, has contributed significantly to the growth of the sport. PKL attracts a substantial number of followers, and its net brand worth is estimated at $33 million or 262 crores INR.

Are international players involved in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)?

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) attracts many foreign players, particularly from countries like Iran and Korea. Their participation adds a global touch to the league and enhances the competitiveness and skill level of the matches. Therefore, many foreign players came to participate in the iconic league. 

How much is the prize money for the Indian Super League (ISL)?

The Indian Super League (ISL) has total prize money of $1 million or eight crores INR. Therefore, The prize money is distributed as follows
ISL Winner: $400,000 (3.2 crores INR)
ISL Runner-up: $200,000 (1.6 crores INR)
ISL 3rd Position: $100,000 (80 lakhs INR)
ISL 4th Position: $100,000 (80 lakhs INR)

What is the format of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)?

The PKL is the 3rd most popular sport in India. Therefore, The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) follows a round-robin format, wherein each team plays two matches against every other team in the league. Moreover, This format ensures fair competition and gives each team an opportunity to showcase their skills and strategies.

How many seasons of the Indian Super League (ISL) have been played so far?

Since Indian Super League ISL’s first season in 2014, the Indian Super League (ISL) has completed nine seasons.

How does the Indian Premier League (IPL) contribute to the Indian economy?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) plays an important role in the Indian economy. It has contributed to the GDP growth of India, with the 2015 season alone adding approximately $160 million or 11.5 billion INR to the country’s GDP. The league’s popularity attracts investments and generates revenue through various channels, making it a substantial contributor to the overall economy. Moreover, we have seen many International brands including Bollywood involved in the IPL. 

Who is the Indian Premier League 2023 Winner?

The IPL 2023 winner team is Chennai Super Kings. CSK won the IPL 2023 Title after the Nail Bitting competition. Moreover, Chennai Super Kings now are equivalent to (Mumbai Indians) MI 5 times IPL title winner. Moreover, CSK becomes the the IPL 2023 title winner after defeating Gujarat Titans by five wickets.


India is a sports-friendly country celebrating sports events like a festival. We have seen the Indian nation passionately celebrate both traditional Indian sports and international sports events. Moreover, The country has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of domestic sports leagues, which have captivated the hearts of millions of fans across the nation. 

This article has provided a comprehensive overview of the Top 3 Most Popular Cash-Rich and World-Class Sports Leagues in India. Moreover, In this article, we have discussed various aspects of these sports leagues, including their inception, prize money distribution, net brand worth, and the participating teams.

Furthermore, We have explored the transformations and changes that have occurred over the years, shedding light on the dynamic nature of these sporting events. In Addition to this, These leagues have not only entertained audiences but also played a significant role in contributing to the Indian economy.

The IPL has a huge brand value and their impact on the GDP of India stands as a testament to the league’s success. Similarly, the ISL and PKL have brought football and kabaddi, respectively, to the forefront of Indian sports, captivating fans and fostering a culture of athleticism.

Moreover, it is evident that these sports leagues will continue to thrive, bringing joy and excitement to fans and players alike. With each passing season, these leagues evolve, attracting global talent, and pushing the boundaries of sporting excellence.

Furthermore, in this article, we have endeavored to provide a detailed account of these sports leagues, offering insights into their growth, impact, and the vibrant spirit they evoke. It is our hope that this article has served as an informative guide, shedding light on the remarkable world of sports in India.

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