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PVR Isn’t worried about losing movies to OTT platforms

Cinemas have once again faced the brunt of lockdowns as states sought to curb the second surge of the virus. Yet, India’s largest multiplex chain isn’t worried about losing films to streaming services.

“The big concern in the last few months was that everything will release on OTT (over-the-top platforms),” Nitin Sood, chief financial officer at PVR Ltd. , told BloombergQuint in an interview. “That hasn’t really happened because there is no economic rationale on both sides for filmmakers and OTT players to pay that kind of money.”

A few films will be released on OTT platforms but India makes 1,500-1,800 movies a year, Sood said. “In FY21, we lost about 20-25 films and that will continue to happen and some films will continue to go.”

“Most of the big film guys and most of the producers have realised that there is no economic rationale without going to theatres as the bulk of the revenues come from theatres,” Sood said.

Some recent experiments of releasing on OTT platforms as a premium video-on-demand service, charging customers on pay per use, were not successful, he said. “We don’t think in our estimate that any film will want to do that.”

In the January-March quarter, PVR’s revenue quadrupled over the previous quarter to Rs 181 crore as the nation continued to return to normal ahead of the second wave. But its net loss widened to Rs 289 crore from Rs 73 crore in the preceding quarter.

Its operating loss, however, narrowed to Rs 57 crore from Rs 78.12 crore in October-December. BloombergQuint

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