PVR is all set to provide live stream of gaming tournaments in India.
The largest multiplex operator in India, PVR has, in collaboration with Indian esports firm Nodwin Gaming, has announced its pilot project to live stream esports gaming tournaments in some of its select theatres. This project, if executed, would bring a whole new viewing experience and provide the esports industry with a significant boost.
As per the chief of strategy for PVR Limited, Kamal Gianchandani, they want this at least be an annual affair, stating that they want to grow it along the lines of the IPL, he states that this initiative could very well be thought of as the “IPL of e-sports in the country”. Continuing with the analogy, he adds that the theatres could be thought of as “the venues, akin to stadiums, for the games to be played”.
However, Gianchandani makes it clear that it is still too early to make any comments on the kinds of the games that will be streamed by them in the future, the states that “the ambition” is for them to keep foraying into bigger game titles which will also allow the gamers to play from their PCs as well.
According to Akash Rathee, the co-founder and managing director at Nodwin Gaming, this partnership will be allowing for giving the audience ”a premium watching experience” for esports tournaments. The initiative will begin with the streaming of tournaments for Battlegrounds Mobile India, the very game that had replaced the very popular and now now banned game PUBG Mobile, in India.
PVR In Association With Nodwin Gaming to Live Stream eSports Tournaments
According to Gianchandani, four cities have been selected for the initial screening. These include Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Indore. The screens for Mumbai and Hyderabad have not been decided upon yet. As for Indore, the theatre at Treasure Island Mall and for Gurgaon the theatre at the Ambience Mall has been chosen.
Gianchandani says that PVR has had past experiences of live streaming cricket and football events. However, the esports events would be slightly different as they feature running commentaries, trivia, graphics and much more. These details will be looked over by Nodwin Gaming. While all these will be done at a different studio, people watching the stream at the theatre would be getting the content at the exact same time.
PVR plans to sell tickets for these in-theatre esports streaming events. Talking about this, Gianchandani states that this could, in the future, could open an avenue of opportunities for monetizing. These range from sponsorship rights to selling broadcast and streaming rights for esports tournaments. However, he also makes it clear that the company is currently focused on getting the product right. Talking about time frames and how long it could take for this initiative to be made available, all across the country he says that, “I would not put a time frame to it (to go pan-India), but our goal is to take it as early as possible”.
According to a report published by KPMG, in July, the total revenue to be generating from India’s online gaming market for the FY21 has been estimated to be ₹ 136 billion. ₹ 1.7 billion of this market is accounted for by esports alone. This figure is expected to shoot up to ₹ 5.7 billion by the end of 2025. The report suggests that esports organizers along with the streaming companies could play a significant key role in enabling the value chain of gaming in India, in the near future.