Mumbai: It will be a while before hockey, kabaddi and football sports leagues start making money. Business structures, product consistency and fan engagement programmes have to fall in place before non-cricketing sports start becoming profitable, said Vinit Karnik, national director, sports and entertainment, GroupM ESP, the sports marketing arm of media buying and advertising agency, GroupM, at a discussion on Thursday at Ficci Frames conference in Mumbai.

The gap between entertainment and sports is fast closing, added Karnik.

Actor Abhishek Bachchan, owner of the Pro Kabaddi league team, Jaipur Pink Panthers, and Indian Super League (ISL) football franchise Chennayin FC, said that a substantial investment had gone into football and the gestation period for his team franchise is between five and seven years.

“Pro Kabbadi is more television friendly and a less expensive property. We hope to make money this year," said Bachchan.

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