If you can’t beat them, join them? But can multiplexes show matches?

Scan any newspaper in Mumbai and Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata or Bangalore and one would find that the cinema halls and the drinking water holes through advertisements in newspapers are inviting the fans and aficionados to view the IPL matches in the comfortable zones of the properties that they own.

As a matter of fact, the cinema halls and multiplex owners have decided to adapt the maxim that if you cannot beat them then join them. It is a judicious decision as the business of cinema has suffered heavily during the last two IPL seasons, and to offset the losses that they suffered the multiplex owners as also the watering hole owners have decided to telecast the IPL matches live, and join in the party to make money.

IPL after all has emerged as a vertical that keeps on innovating to maximize revenue, and the initiative of the Cinema hall owners and the watering hole owners is an effort in the same direction.

But the moot point is would the IPL owners allow them to do so, as they have officially made no reaction in this direction. The question is being raised as IPL authorities are already at loggerheads with the news broadcasters about the quantum of news feed that they allow them to broadcast through their news channel programmes.

If the IPL authorities do not allow the newspapers broadcasters to take the feed from the matches as current as it could be possible, they may not even allow the multiplex and watering hole owners to do so. Besides, Set Max, which owns the broadcast rights, could also ask for share in the revenue as it the owners are very clear that they would not like to allow anyone to have free lunch through the feeds for IPL matches. After all, they have invested heavily to acquire the rights.

Another issue that is involved related to the Censors Board. As far as multiplex owners are concerned, they are allowed to show the programmes that have been certified by the Central Board of Films Certification, and any programme that does not have their certification cannot be shown on the silver screens in side the cinema halls. Obviously, the Central Board of Films Certification does not certify IPL matches. Therefore, if the IPL authorities decide to put spanner into the plans of multiplexes, it can always invoke the provisions of the CBFC, and not allow the multiplex owners to telecast IPL matches. Or else, they may have to share the booty with the IPL authorities. Either way, it is one more arena that may see interesting battle.

By: Suman Rai

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