Home/ Companies / News/  PVR to live stream gaming tournaments

Gamers in India will have a whole new way of watching gaming tournaments with the largest multiplex operator in India, PVR Ltd, announcing a tie-up with homegrown e-sports firm Nodwin Gaming to stream such events in its theatres.

The pilot project, announced on Monday, is the first of its kind initiative in India and will begin with Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the game that replaced the now banned PUBG Mobile in the country.

PVR plans to include games from different genres, it said.

“We want this to be an annual affair at the least," said Kamal Gianchandani, chief of strategy, PVR. “We want to grow this property on similar lines as the Indian Premier League. Think of this as the IPL of e-sports in India. Think of theatres as the venues, akin to stadiums, for the games to be played," he said.

It is too early to comment on what kind of games will be streamed, “but the ambition" is to foray into bigger gaming titles, allowing gamers to play from PCs, he said.

The partnership will allow the company to “give its audience a premium watching experience" for e-sports, said Akshat Rathee, managing director and co-founder of Nodwin Gaming, which is backed by Nazara Technologies, a diversified gaming and sports media platform.

PVR has chosen four cities—Gurugram, Indore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. In Gurugram and Indore, the events will be streamed at the Ambience Mall and Treasure Island Mall theatres, respectively. The locations for Hyderabad and Mumbai are yet to be selected, Gianchandani said.

PVR has the ability to stream events, having streamed football and cricketing events in the past, Gianchandani said.

However, e-sports events will be accompanied by commentary, graphics, trivia and more, which are being handled by Nodwin Gaming. These will be done in a separate studio, but people sitting and watching the stream will get all the content at the same time.

PVR will sell tickets for these in-theatre events, but Gianchandani said that streaming e-sports events in theatres could open up newer monetization opportunities. These include selling naming and other sponsorship rights, advertising by brands, and even selling the streaming and broadcast rights for e-sports.

However, the multiplex giant is focused on getting the product right, increasing engagement and making it a pan-India phenomenon.

A KPMG report from June estimated the total revenue of India’s online gaming market in FY21 at 13,600 crore. E-sports accounted for 170 crore of this market and was expected to grow to 570 crore by 2025.

The report pegged e-sports organizers and streaming firms as key enablers in the gaming value chain in future.

Prasid Banerjee
An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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Updated: 05 Oct 2021, 12:14 AM IST
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