It can happen only in India and that too in this state. Readers from Andhra Pradesh have been reporting that bookmyshow and other cinema websites have stopped booking online tickets for movie shows. Bookmyshow has this banner up on their website all week :
Due to statutory reasons (Govt. of AP) all online ticketing in Andhra Pradesh is taken off the web till further notice.
There are reports on the blogosphere that all this is a part of Andhra Pradesh government’s monopolizing the online ticketing plans wherein they want to force cinemas to sell only through 1 online ticketing partner. The move at face value only seems grossly unfair and illegal.
This is ofcourse a huge inconvenience to the large IT and ex-pat crowd that is present in Hyderabad. The matter seems to be sub-judice in the high court with a stay granted in Bookmyshow’s favour , however reports suggest that the Andhra Govt. officials are still harassing Bookmyshow and its management team and that’s what prompted them to take the online ticket booking offline.
There doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel with the Govt. seeming obstinate to ensure that only their choice of ticket operator is able to sell online tickets in Andhra Pradesh.