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UAE cinema halls dig into IPL pie

Taking a cue from Indian cinema halls who are cashing in on the IPL fever, selected theatres in the UAE are also offering cricket enthusiasts a stadium-like experience of the matches on the big-screen.

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2010 16:28 IST

Taking a cue from Indian cinema halls who are cashing in on the IPL fever, selected theatres in the UAE are also offering cricket enthusiasts a stadium-like experience of the matches on the big-screen.

A local company, Entertainment and Sports Direct (ESD), has acquired theatrical rights of league matches to be played between 2010 to 2019.

The company has joined hands with Al Nisr Cinema and Gulf Films to bring the stadium-like experience for cricket fans in the UAE with live screenings in high-definition quality at nine theatres currently across the country.

ESD has also tied up with select hotels and restaurants in the UAE for screening the matches in high-definition on large screens.

For cinema halls, regular prices will apply for the tickets.

Arun Rangachari, Chairman of parent firm DAR Capital Group, said that the big-screen experience will be a novel experience for cricket enthusiasts.

"This is the first time in the world that a major sporting tournament is being exhibited in cinema screens in High Definition quality, and will bring about a radical transformation in the way the sport of cricket is viewed and enjoyed by fans across the world. This is evident from the high viewership levels that this initiative is generating in India," Rangachari said.

"IPL has one of the strongest following internationally in the UAE given the multicultural population of the city.

"In India, the theatre screenings of the matches are a huge hit, and we expect the same public response to our initiative in the UAE through our partnership with Al Nisr Cinema," he said.

"The theatre screenings were originally planned in the UAE for the next year. However, we are launching it this year itself due to strong demand, especially from the corporates for bulk bookings," he added.