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The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has opened to a packed stadium and 25 million total TV impressions as football champions ATK met last year’s runner-up Kerala Blasters.

The opening game of the football club competition’s fourth season recorded 7.4 million average impressions, double the India vs. USA opening game at the U17 FIFA World Cup 2017, held recently in India. The match also drew 59% more viewers than last season’s opening game, according to ISL’s official broadcaster Star India.

“We are thrilled with the response that The Hero Indian Super League is getting from football fans across India. The growth demonstrated is across urban, rural and digital audiences which indeed proves that Future Hai Football! We are looking forward to having an exhilarating journey on this biggest ever season of the league,” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India.

The ISL will be broadcast live in India on Star Sports network and streamed online via Hotstar. A total of 95 matches will be played in the 17-week long 2017-18 season between ten teams including two additional teams, Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC.

Each of the teams will play in a home-and-away format over 90 games. The two-legged semi-finals of the ISL league are scheduled for the second week of March 2018.

Coverage of the rapidly growing Indian football league is also now broadcast free-to-air in the UK on BritAsia.