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PVR Inox Ltd. Diversifies with T20 World Cup Matches Amid Box Office Slump

PVR Inox to broadcast T20 World Cup matches amid a $15.6 million quarterly loss, diversifying beyond movies to boost attendance.

By Athena Xu

5/15, 00:44 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • PVR Inox Ltd. is diversifying by planning to screen T20 World Cup matches, aiming to attract audiences amid a box office slump.
  • Facing a net quarterly loss of 1.3 billion rupees, the cinema chain explores alternative events like concerts and K-Pop performances.
  • Initiatives include a loyalty program and re-releasing fan favorites to combat competition from streaming services and enhance customer engagement.

Exploring New Avenues

India's premier cinema chain, PVR Inox Ltd., is actively seeking innovative strategies to enhance its appeal and draw audiences back to theaters amidst a challenging box office environment. The company's Chief Financial Officer, Nitin Sood, revealed in a recent interview that PVR Inox is in talks to broadcast key matches of the upcoming International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup. This initiative is part of a broader effort to diversify the theater experience beyond traditional movie screenings, aiming to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving entertainment landscape.

Diversification Strategy

PVR Inox's decision to screen T20 matches, a format of cricket immensely popular in India, is expected to attract significant crowds, potentially more so than the longer Cricket World Cup games hosted last October. The move comes as the cinema operator reported a net quarterly loss of 1.3 billion rupees ($15.6 million), prompting a shift towards hosting a variety of events. In addition to sports, PVR Inox is exploring the screening of concerts and alternative events, including filmed K-Pop performances, to cater to diverse audience interests.

Addressing Box Office Slump

The cinema chain is grappling with a sluggish period for movie releases, with many major films postponed until after the national elections in June. This delay has contributed to the company's financial losses, despite a slight improvement in the March quarter compared to the previous year. PVR Inox's challenges are compounded by the growing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Reliance Industries Ltd.’s JioCinema, which offer a vast array of content at competitive prices.

Innovative Customer Engagement

In response to these challenges, PVR Inox has launched several initiatives aimed at boosting theater attendance. The PVR Inox Passport loyalty program offers discounted tickets for weekday screenings, an effort to incentivize regular cinema visits. Additionally, the chain is planning to re-release fan-favorite films and organize film festivals, further broadening its entertainment offerings to appeal to a wider audience base.

Management Quotes

  • Nitin Sood, CFO of PVR Inox Ltd.:

    "Our biggest focus is to stay relevant as a medium." "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."