In what is the first of its kind move, Airtel’s Digital TV arm today announced that it would be showcasing forthcoming Telugu movie Minukumanna Minugurulu (The Fire Flies) on the same day as its theatrical release. Though other operators like Videocon d2h and Tata Sky are known to show new movies on their pay per view channels within days of a release, this move by Airtel could be the start of a new trend. Also Read - Work from home: A look at prepaid recharge plans from Jio, Airtel, Vodafone
Showing a movie on the same day as the theatrical release could not only rake in more money for the movie’s producers, but could also slowly weed out piracy. DTH users, on the other hand, could also get used to watching the latest movies from the comfort of their homes rather than having to go to a theatre and standing in long queues for tickets. Also Read - TRAI issues a decision to end 100 free SMS per day rule
The flip side to this move is that it could eat into the profits of theatre owners and distributors. It will be interesting to see how they react to this move by Airtel. Last year, South superstar Kamal Haasan had planned on releasing his movie Vishwaroopam on specific DTH networks a few hours before the theatrical release. The move created quite a ruckus and a lawsuit was filed against the actor at the Madras High Court, following which Haasan had to relent in order for the release to go ahead. Also Read - Airtel denies report of Amazon's $2 billion deal; says no such proposal in talks
Users interested in watching Minukumanna Minugurulu, will first need to book the movie by sending an SMS <BOOK 157> to 54325 from their registered mobile numbers. It will be available from 12:30AM on January 24 and will be available till January 28. Airtel has priced it at Rs 100 per day.