Fancy watching World Cup matches in cinematic glory? You might just have to go to any theatre near you. That's because multiplex and theatre owners are gearing up to put plans into palce for live screening of the matches.
"We are talking to the respective right holders for live screening for the World Cup and IPL matches. IPL will take some time, but for the World Cup the plan should be final within a week's time," Cinemax CEO Sunil Punjabi told PTI.
The official broadcaster of the World Cup, ESPN Star Sports that also has the theatrical rights, is in talks with several multiplex and theatre owners although nothing has been finalised yet, said industry sources. The company, however, did not comment.
The ICC Cricket World will be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2 and the IPL follows six days after it.
Leading multiplex chain PVR Cinemas that had shown IPL matches live on 18 screens last year, is also working on a plan for this year.
"While, there is clarity on IPL as UFO Moviez has the ten year rights for theatrical screening, there is no clarity on the World Cup yet," PVR Cinemedia CEO Gautam Dutta said. PVR Cinemedia is a division of multiplex company PVR Ltd that handles all of its advertising, marketing and branding tie-ups.
He said that between the two tournaments, the World Cup is expected to generate more interest among people as India as a team would be playing after a long time.
"If the team makes it to the critical matches like semi -finals and finals then the interest levels will be certainly very high," Dutta added.
However, another leading multiplex chain Big Cinemas owned by Reliance MediaWorks is more drawn toward IPL than the World Cup.
Though the company did not offer an official comment, according to industry sources, it is much like the last year is keen to screen IPL matches.
Regarding the overheads involved, Dutta of PVR said theatre owners there will not incur additional costs as deals are based on a revenue sharing basis. For consumers, tickets will be priced akin to film-tickets.