Cineplex to bring ‘Sunday Night Football,’ Super Bowl to movie theatres

Seven games leading up to the Super Bowl will be hosted in the adults-only VIP cinemas

A man makes his way down an escalator during the Cineplex Entertainment company’s annual general meeting in Toronto on May 17, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Cineplex has scored a deal to bring “Sunday Night Football” and the Super Bowl to its movie theatres.

The company said Friday that a three-year sponsorship agreement with the National Football League will begin Nov. 12 and be known as “NFL Sundays at Cineplex.”

Games will be broadcast live to 15 VIP theatres and then expand to 50 locations for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, 2018.

“It’s no different than when we started opera and some of the other things that we’ve done to create and bring a different demographic, a different group of people, into our theatres,” said Cineplex president Ellis Jacob, pointing to other sporting events the chain has featured, including NHL and NBA games, the Olympics, and UFC and WWE events.

Seven games leading up to the Super Bowl will be hosted in the adults-only VIP cinemas, which feature wider recliners and in-seat food and beverage service that includes beer, wine and spirits.

Jacob said it’s all part of Cineplex’s efforts to reinvent itself as “an entertainment destination” that is far more than just popcorn and Hollywood films.

Hence, a growing roster of “event-cinema” offerings such as live opera and theatre broadcasts, as well as investments in the esports platform WorldGaming and various entertainment centres including the upcoming Topgolf venues, the eats-and-entertainment spot The Rec Room, and a relaunch of the Playdium arcades.

An especially weak summer in movie profits didn’t help the bottom line, Jacob acknowledged, calling it “a hard year at the box office.”

“I wouldn’t panic because we’ve always had these cyclical events,” said Jacob, predicting a bounce-back in the fourth quarter.

“This is part of our focus to try and balance that out over a period of time. Because as we’ve seen with the Hollywood product, you’ve got good periods and then you can basically run into some slow growth periods. (But) with the NFL, we are committing and getting three years worth of content so it’s not like I’m waiting for the next movie to come out.”

NFL Canada’s managing director David Thomson also saw an opportunity to broaden the league’s audience, stating in a release that the partnership targets the next generation of fans, in part through online tournaments on Cineplex’s WorldGaming platform.

Tickets will be $5 and are available at participating VIP theatres in Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Vancouver.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Red Deer to host portion of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament

City approves $75,000 in support of 2018 hosting

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP charge two individuals with 198 charges, 29 firearms seized

Tara Veer and Ken Foster credit Pinpoint for arrests and seizures

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Ponoka RCMP seek assistance in locating vehicle belonging to the tire

MC College offers mental health app for all students

MC College has an application to provide students with access to mental health service

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week.

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read