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NFL games at the movies? Football games to be broadcast by AMC Theaters

Kristian Dyer

Watching the big game requires a big screen, and AMC Theaters have some of the biggest around.

AMC Theaters is offering fans the chance to watch NFL games on Sunday. The games will be broadcast on the theaters' massive screens, and every hit will boom on the top-notch sound systems. The tiered seating will make sure everyone has a chance to see the games.

Capitalizing on the NFL is just another way that AMC can combat a stale climate when it comes to moviegoers and the theater, forcing cinemas to think outside the box to generate revenue and maximize their space. Getting football fans into the theater and spending money on concessions can only help the bottom line for AMC.

Giving football the silver screen treatment is one of the latest attempts by theater owners to get people off their couches and into theaters at which attendance peaked about 15 years ago despite record earnings of nearly $12 billion in 2018. AMC has seen recent success with moviegoers with their A-list service, which allows subscribers to see three movies a week for just $20 a month. Other theater chains are offering premium experiences with leather recliners and gourmet food in order to draw people away from their TVs and streaming services.

Tapping into a growing and fervent NFL fandom certainly makes sense for AMC. The movie industry has been relatively flat in recent years and theaters are seeking new ways to generate revenue. Last summer’s World Cup in Russia,  which was broadcast during the morning and early afternoon in the United States, became one outlet for theaters to attract revenue during non-traditional hours. More niche sports like cricket, which is difficult to find on more traditional broadcast platforms, are also finding a home in theaters.

Up to four games each Sunday will be available at participating theaters. The seat is free, but you have to buy $10 at the concessions.

AMC can generate significant revenue from hungry and thirsty NFL fans given the traditional mark-up on concessions, which could be as high as 85%.

Each Friday, local theaters will announce the slate of games available. To attend, all fans need to do is purchase $10 Prepaid Event Food & Beverage either onsite or using AMC’s website. In order to reserve a ticket and purchase the prepaid food and beverage card, buyers need to enroll in the AMC Stubs Insider program. Membership is free and allows fans to earn points for their purchases.

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Here's the catch: Fans hoping to watch the hometown game, however, will face some difficulties. Due to NFL policy when it comes to the rights of local broadcast affiliates, AMC theaters cannot show teams in their local markets, which makes this a deal that is probably best for fans of out-of-market teams.

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