Is IPL working in the theatres?

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | March 23, 2010
More than 700 theatres across the country plan to show IPL matches this time. Is it drawing the crowds?

Charuhas Satam
Strategic Advisor, UFO Moviez India

The concept of cricket tournaments being screened in the theatres gives the masses easy access to the game. Moreover, they get to enjoy the match on the big screen.

& #BANNER1 & #As most people like to watch cricket matches with friends and family, this stage is providing an excellent ambience - and that too - without any commercials during the time the game is on.

It will also replicate the frenzy in the stadium. That will provide entertainment value and keep the IPL's magic alive within cinema halls. A carnival-like atmosphere is being created with cricket-related merchandise, exciting gifts and multi cuisine food stalls to cater to the entire family.

Cinema Jockeys have been anchoring various interactive activities in the foyer with a range of contests being held from time to time. The names of the winners are being flashed on screen across different theatres nationally. Celebrities, too, are walking in at regular intervals to cheer the teams.

Raghu Iyer
CMO, Rajasthan Royals

The IPL is literally getting bigger and bigger with each season. Though it's not the first time that a game is being screened live on a 70mm screen, it is for the first time that all the matches (60 in all) in a cricket tournament will be screened across more than 700 cinema auditoriums.

Last year, TCS invited some 100 fans to its office for the screening of a few IPL matches. But this is the first time that it is being done in such a professional manner.

Many of our sponsors are looking at blocking entire cinema halls for conducting various activities. This will also give us a chance to increase the fan engagement opportunities, giving us more platforms to interact with the audience. We are also reaching out to other fans who are there for just watching a movie, not the IPL.

Another big innovation is the introduction of 3-D technology for the last four matches including the semi-finals and the grand finale. Such initiatives will help IPL spread its reach even further and is beneficial for everyone - the game, the franchisees, fans and sponsors.

Indranil Das Blah
Vice President, KWAN Entertainment

The IPL isn't just a sport, it is wholesome family entertainment - with music, performances, celebrities, cheerleaders, drama and the works - nothing that a movie doesn't have. Several factors work in favour of both the IPL and UFO. Firstly, the timings of the matches - especially the second match starting at 8PM - are perfect for families to finish their daily chores and head to the cinema for the matches and a late dinner. Secondly, watching a cricket match in a theatre is a novel and unique experience.

It gives people the feel and buzz of being in a stadium but not having to deal with long queues and other hassles that usually come with sports events in India. Thirdly, the three-hour period is perfect for families to visit theatres without drastically altering their daily schedules. Lastly, with no big movie releases planned during the IPL, it is giving movie theatres that extra income.

The concept also provides a new window of options for the spectators. Stepping into a multiplex gives the cricket fan the closest brush with 'live' action without actually being in the stadium.