Movie studios sign on for satellitebased digital delivery to theaters

We doubt we'll see any reduction in ticket prices, but the process of bringing new movies to theaters could get easier very soon as five major studios have signed on with the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) to use its satellite distribution network. Lionsgate, Universal, Disney, Warner and Paramount are all on board with the scheme, which says it will provide participants access to "a host of delivery options" as digital projection becomes increasingly common. The Hollywood Reporter quotes spokesman Randolph Blotky saying the network is expected to reach 300 locations when it launches this summer, all of which will be equipped with an appliance from video distributor KenCast. The satellite end of things is being handled by EchoStar/Deluxe, and once it's rolled out should make things much easier than the current system of shipping hard drives back and forth. Of course, what we're not hearing so far is if/how this upgrade will reach smaller, older theaters that are facing pricey upgrades from film-based equipment, but with theater chains like AMC, Regal and Cinemark forming the DCDC along with Universal and Warner, those considerations are probably a little further down the list.

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Lionsgate, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Paramount Pictures Sign on to DCDC Distribution Service Platform

BURBANK, Calif. & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) announced today that it has reached agreements with Lionsgate, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Paramount Pictures to provide each with theatrical digital delivery services across North America. DCDC, formed by AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Theatres, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., has created a network for next generation satellite and terrestrial digital distribution capable of supporting feature, promotional, pre-show and live content distribution into theatres using the latest in digital distribution technologies. The network is designed to provide a highly reliable and cost effective distribution model for distributors and exhibitors alike. As digital distribution replaces the use of traditional, physical media for content distribution, users of the network will have access to a host of delivery options and resources.

"This is a crucial advancement in theatrical distribution, and we're thrilled to be on board."
Speaking on behalf of DCDC, Randolph Blotky stated, "DCDC's service platform is the state of the art for digital delivery of various kinds of content to theatres in North America. Its business model will assure long-term consistent low cost pricing to content providers and exhibitors across the industry. We are very excited to welcome Warner Bros. Entertainment, Lionsgate, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures to our service."

Darcy Antonellis, President, Technical Operations, and Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment added, "The vision of creating a cross-industry distribution service to benefit distributors, exhibitors, service providers and consumers is becoming a reality. We're extremely pleased to be working with our colleagues to bring to fruition a powerful distribution network that is advantageous for us all."

Nikki Rocco, President, Universal Pictures Distribution, added, "With the majority of the domestic theatrical market now digital, the ability to efficiently distribute films via satellite to a large subset of our exhibitor partners will further ensure moviegoers have access to the latest and highest quality theatrical entertainment. Universal is excited to work with DCDC in the satellite delivery of our films, as it rolls out its satellite platform over the coming months."

"DCDC's new satellite service provides a seamless and secure system that will enable us to streamline and expedite access to our latest content," said Dave Hollis, Executive Vice President, Theatrical Exhibition Sales and Distribution, The Walt Disney Studios. "This is a crucial advancement in theatrical distribution, and we're thrilled to be on board."

"The wide-spread adoption of DCDC's platform is a game-changer," said Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. "The service ensures that audiences have the most high-quality entertainment experience while exhibitors and content providers achieve a strategic, secure and cost-effective new business model. We are very pleased to join DCDC and our partner studios in this initiative."

"We are pleased that Lionsgate can again be at the forefront of digital cinema and be part of the state of the art digital delivery system that will benefit the entire industry," said Richie Fay, Lionsgate's President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution.

"All of us at Paramount believe the advancement of digital distribution technologies will help to further our goal to bring the finest entertainment to audiences in a seamless and secure manner, and the DCDC will be a great partner for us to achieve that goal," said Megan Colligan, Paramount Pictures' President of Domestic Marketing and Distribution.

"DCDC is creating a technological superhighway," said Tim Warner, CEO and President, Cinemark Theatres. "It's one port access to thousands of screens, for both movies and alternative content, from all content providers."

DCDC is expected to complete the initial network roll-out before year-end. Deluxe/EchoStar LLC will be providing operations support for the DCDC network.

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Movie studios sign on for satellite-based digital delivery to theaters