India’s Largest Cinema Operator Looks to Screen T20 Cricket World Cup as Movies Disappoint

India’s Largest Cinema Operator Looks to Screen T20 Cricket World Cup as Movies Disappoint

India’s largest cinema operator is in discussions to screen key matches during the International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup, in a bid to lure patrons as movies continue to struggle at the box office. 

  • Also read:Disney Star expects upcoming T20 World Cup to be of bigger scale

“Our biggest focus is to stay relevant as a medium,” PVR Inox Ltd.’s Chief Financial Officer Nitin Sood said in an interview. The operator would show key games from the tournament, which starts next month, he said. 

Matches of T20 — a shortened form of cricket especially popular in India — are expected to draw bigger crowds to cinemas than the day-long Cricket World Cup games held in the country last October, Sood said. 

PVR Inox, which reported a net quarterly loss of ₹130 crores ($15.6 million) on Tuesday, is building a portfolio of concerts, sports, and alternate events to attract crowds. The Mumbai-based firm is also working on bringing filmed K-Pop performances to Indian audiences, Sood said. 

While PVR Inox narrowed losses in the March quarter from a year ago, it attributed slow growth to a sluggish period for movies, with most big-ticket releases scheduled in India to be released after national elections end in June.

The movie screen chain — formed after two major operators merged last year — is battling the surging popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Reliance Industries Ltd.’s JioCinema, which offers movies and TV shows for as little as a rupee a day. 

PVR Inox has introduced loyalty programs like PVR Inox Passport, through which people can get cheaper tickets to weekday screenings, as it works to attract audiences. The chain is also relaunching fan favorite films and plans to host film festivals.

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