UFO upgrades technology for IPL theatrical projection

MUMBAI: Digital cinema company UFO Moviez is gearing up to provide technological services to stream live Indian Premiere League (IPL) cricket matches to cinemas in India. The company will be investing Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crores) for additional hardware and bandwidth for the same.

IPL will be held from 18 April to 1 June and companies have put in tenders by invitation for bidding of theatrical rights. The final names will be declared on 13 or 14 March. According to information available with Businessofcinema.com, the bidding price is in the range of Rs 250 million (Rs 25 crores).

The company, which bags the distribution rights, will further commission the rights to cinemas on a revenue share or minimum guarantee (MG) basis.

However, UFO Moviez is not involved in the bidding of the rights and will only provide the technological service to the company that bags the rights. “We are in the business of content projection in cinemas and not in bidding of rights. We would like to believe that the company, which bags IPL theatrical rights will reach out to us for the projection of match in cinemas, as we are equipped with satellite projection systems for live streaming,” UFO Moviez COO Vishnu Patel tells Businessofcinema.com.

UFO has approximately 1400 installations in screens countrywide, but all its screens will not play the IPL matches. Additionally, some non-UFO cinemas, which want to air the match will have to lease the projection and satellite system in order to do so.

The ticket price to view an IPL match in a cinema may be higher than the normal movie ticket rates, as the duration of a match is more than that of a movie. “Initially we plan to keep nominal ticket rates, but the prices may increase from semi- final onwards,” says a multiplex officer.

Through this live IPL match screening UFO stands to gain a commission on the total business generated in each cinema or a fixed fee for the projection for each match at a cinema, negotiation for which are currently on with respective cinemas. “We are estimating a total of 1000 -1200 screens to stream live IPL match in their cinemas,” concludes Patel.

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