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Scrabble Entertainment, a firm that converts 2D content to 3D, has bagged the right to broadcast the last four Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in 3D format from Crown Infotainment, which holds the 10-year theatrical rights for IPL in India. Having paid Rs 2.5 crore for the 3D rights, Scrabble is looking to air live matches across 120 3D theatres in the country.
"We are not just putting the game up on the big screen but making the experience like being in a stadium for real," Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment, told Business Standard. The company is expecting nearly Rs 10 crore from 3D telecast of matches, where revenues earned over Rs 2.5 crore would be shared with UFO Moviez, which gets around 80 per cent share.
"We have a 80:20 share partnership with UFO Moviez, with Scrabble getting 20 per cent of the revenues. But we are very confident that 3D screening can draw a minimum 60 per cent occupancy at theatres, where the average ticket is priced at Rs 1,000 for 3D telecasts," added Thakur. UFO Moviez is a digital distribution company and sister company of Crown Infotainment.
Meanwhile, Scrabble along with screen operators, will run free 3D promos of cricket matches that will allow audiences to sample the 3D viewing experience.
To further enhance the 3D experience for the final four matches, cinema exhibitors across the metros and Tier-I cities are planning to get liquor licences during IPL screenings. With plans to invest nearly Rs 2 crore in promoting the 3D screenings, Scrabble will advertise heavily on print, radio, internet and even run TV spots.
"We also intend to have 3D advertising campaigns, and already three consumer electronics firms have expressed interest in advertising during IPL matches," said Thakur. As of now, Scrabble is assisting the advertisers to convert their existing 2D advertisements into 3D, which can cost up to Rs 16 lakh. He added, "We have been also approached by advertisers to help them shoot commercials in 3D, which can cost Rs 3-5 lakh (per day)."
With plans to convert 500 multiplex screens into 3D technology over the next three years, Scrabble is also negotiating with the US-based agency Tiger Eight, which holds the worldwide 3D rights of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for theatres, to screen live football matches in 3D cinemas in India.