Multiplexes gear up to screen live World Cup, IPL matches

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> With less than a month to go for the cricket World Cup multiplex and theatre owners are gearing up to show live screening of the matches.

Updated: January 21, 2011 15:09 IST
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New Delhi:

With less than a month to go for the cricket World Cup followed by season four of much hyped IPL, multiplex and theatre owners are gearing up to finalise plans 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 said.

The official broadcaster of the World Cup, ESPN Star Sports that also has the theatrical rights, is in discussions 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 the game-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 are more inclined towards 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.

On the costs 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 like film-tickets.

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