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Warner brings Pay-Per-View, Video on Demand to China, hopes people will actually pay for it

Amar Toor, @amartoo
06.15.11
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Piracy may run rampant in China, but that hasn't stopped Warner Bros. from launching the country's first national Pay-Per-View and Video on Demand service. Under the program, movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1 will be broadcast on You On Demand's platform, and distributed to Chinese living rooms in cooperation with China Home Cinema -- a branch of CCTV-6. According to You On Demand's estimates, the service should be available in about three million homes by the end of this summer, and will have the potential to reach a full 200 million cable-equipped households. That's certainly a huge market, and one that could provide some serious revenue -- assuming, of course, that people are actually willing to pay for movies. Full PR after the break.

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WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT TO BECOME FIRST STUDIO TO OFFER FILMS ON DEMAND NATIONALLY VIA TELEVISION SETS IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

YOU ON DEMAND, CHINA'S FIRST-EVER NATIONAL
PAY-PER-VIEW AND VIDEO ON DEMAND PLATFORM, WILL DISTRIBUTE WARNER BROS.' FILMS TO A POTENTIAL
200 MILLION CABLE HOUSEHOLDS

FIRST WARNER BROS. TITLES WILL BE AVAILABLE THIS SUMMER VIA YOU ON DEMAND BRANDED CABLE AND INTERNET PROTOCOL (IPTV) SERVICE


BEIJING, CHINA, June 15, 2011 – Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced the studio will begin offering its films nationally On Demand to consumers' television sets in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Through a distribution agreement with CAV Warner Home Entertainment Co., Ltd., Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group's joint venture in China, and YOU On Demand Holdings, Inc.'s (OTCBB: CBBD) PRC joint venture, YOU On Demand Media, consumers will be able to access Warner Bros.' new release and catalog films this summer through the first national Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand platform in China.

YOU On Demand will operate under an exclusive 20-year joint venture with CCTV-6's pay TV arm China Home Cinema (CHC), to become the first national Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand platform in China. Warner Bros. Entertainment will leverage YOU On Demand's platform to provide a potential 200 million cable households access to the studio's films on their television sets. YOU On Demand anticipates their service will be available in three million cable TV homes in China by the end of this summer, which is comparable to the subscriber base of top cable operators in the United States.

"China is developing methods for consumers to view movies outside the cinema in a legitimate fashion," said Jim Wuthrich, President, International Home Video and Digital Distribution, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. "Through YOU On Demand's platform, millions of potential consumers will be able to view our films. They will make it easy for consumers to see the latest films including 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.'"

"Our distribution agreement with Warner Bros. marks a historic milestone for our company," said Shane McMahon, YOU On Demand's Chairman and CEO. "I'm excited for the millions of Chinese consumers that will be able to experience and enjoy the very best content that Hollywood has to offer through the YOU On Demand platform."

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