UFO Moviez to telecast IPL semi-finals, final in 3D across 50 screens

The company is planning to screen the crucial stages of the cricket tournament live in 3D across fifty theatres

United Film Organisers (UFO) Moviez India, a digital satellite cinema network, has said that it will telecast the semi-final and final matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 3D across 50 screens. Currently the company is telecasting IPL in 700 screens across the country.

"We are planning to screen the semi-finals and final of the IPL this year in around fifty 3D-enabled theatres which already have the system in place. We are looking forward to venture in a big way into the 3D market," said Rajesh Mishra, chief executive for Indian operations, UFO Moviez.

The company did not reveal the investment for the 3D screening programme but admitted that at present there is limited infrastructure for 3D systems in India. To telecast the IPL cricket matches live, the company is planning to set up around 8-10 rig cameras on the ground from where it can relay the matches in 3D to these screens.

Betting big on 3D, the company said it feels that there is “great potential” for this technology in India. However, the country needs more infrastructure for it. UFO Moviez is planning to invest around Rs100 crore over the next one year for its 3D foray.

"We are installing around 500 screens with our own 3D system over the next one year. We will be investing Rs50 crore-Rs100 crore over this year. We have just launched our 3D technology, so theatres are keen to work with us. Currently 25% of the theatres have 3D-enabled UFO systems," said Kapil Agarwal, joint managing director, UFO Moviez India.

While maintaining that this year it does not expect spectacular results from its 3D live telecast due to lack of infrastructure, UFO Moviez says that within the next year, this technology can become much more popular. It also feels that 3D will help curb film piracy.

"We will be able to control the piracy issue as we are releasing movies in 192 bit frame proprietary encryption. Due to this encryption technology, even if you make one million copies of my movie, you would not be able to decode (watch) it unless I provide you the encryption code or license," said Mr Agarwal.

"In all the theatres where we release movies, we issue them a license code which no one else can access. The only possible way is to take a camera print from theatres. However, if you take a camera print, there are invisible figures being beamed which will be visible in the copy. We can then get hold of these pirated CDs/DVDs, decode them and extract details like the name of the theatre, date and time when the pirated copy was shot. This helps in curbing piracy,” Mr Agarwal added.

For the IPL semi-finals and final, UFO Moviez is also planning to telecast the matches in about four screens in the UK and around 25 screens in the US.

This year, for the first time ever, the Grammy HD telecast featured a 3D video made by Michael Jackson, for the environmentally conscious song, the ‘Earth Song’, as part of a ceremony honouring the late pop legend with a lifetime achievement award.

The BBC has already carried out a broadcast of the world’s first live sporting event in 3D, beaming an England versus Scotland game from the Six Nations rugby tournament to a cinema in London. Sports network ESPN has become one of the world’s first networks to announce plans for a 3D channel. During 2010, ESPN 3D is planning to telecast a minimum of 85 live sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup matches from 11th June.

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