In last 2 years, I have never bought a ticket from anywhere else other than BookyMyShow. It is convenient, easy and takes very little effort for me to book a movie ticket. While mostly I book it on the web, I have increasingly started using their mobile app!
But according to a Hindu article, BookMyShow may pull the plug in Maharashtra thanks to Maharashtra state government’s order which came out in April of this year. According to the order, online ticket booking websites and theatres are not allowed to charge extra for the tickets sold online.
Due to this order, sites like BookMyShow have to sell tickets without charging any service or convenience fee on top of the actual ticket price that needs to be paid to theatres. Since the order came out BookMyShow, Cinemax and PVR have stopped charging convenience charges, which has piled up huge losses for them in the state.
Ashish Hemrajani told Hindu that, “These are the actions of a hyperactive bureaucrat who has no understanding of the market and what the consumer really wants. We’re taking a significant hit and as a businessmen who has a ‘P&L’ to follow… at some point, if the water goes above the neck, I will shut it down in Maharashtra,”
Currently there is PIL in this regards in Bombay High Court and decision on the same is expected to come out in next few weeks.
If the court rules in favour of BookMyShow and others, things will be back as usual. But it will be very interesting to see what happens if the decision comes in the favour of state order.
Maharashtra is by far the biggest movie market in India. Although we do not have any confirmed numbers, it’s anybody’s guess that majority of the movie ticket sales comes from the state. I doubt if BookMyShow will actually stop the sales, because it will mean opening doors for others who may come up with creative ways of making money on online movie ticket sales.
In our opinion, Bookmyshow definitely offers convenience to customers, but at the same time it also increases the reach of theatres. I think along with consumers, theatres should equally pay, rather than the whole extra amount charged to customers. We think Rs. 20, the convenience fee charged by BookMyShow to ticket buyers is tad too high. As a consumer, I would be happy to pay a fee of around Rs. 10, which is reasonable.
But that’s just our opinion, we will have to wait for next few weeks to see what judgement Bombay High Court passes!
What’s your take?