NCM Fathom In-Theater Programs to be Distributed by Amazon as DVDs, Streaming Videos (Exclusive)

The largest provider of alternative programs to movie theaters makes a deal to distribute its shows on and over the Internet on Amazon Instant Video as well.

NCM Fathom Events, the largest domestic provider of alternative programming to movie theaters, has made a deal with to distribute some of that event programming -- after it plays before a live audience --  on home video and by on demand online via Amazon Instant Video.

Fathom is best known for beaming into theaters live and pre-recorded programming ranging from the Metropolitan Opera to Broadway to boxing to original shows like This American Life – Live With Ira Glass. Now it is expanding so that it can also monetize some of that programming in the aftermarket.

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These programs are delivered on video to movie theaters who usually play them at times like week nights when the auditoriums would otherwise be empty or under used. While major movies are still their biggest business, this is a growing area for theaters who want to find more uses for their facilities.

At least initially, Metropolitan Opera and much of the other high profile programs will not be part of the deal with Amazon. The first show to go out via Amazon will be Dr. Harvey Karp, LIVE: A Conversation About Babies, Toddlers and Sleep, with the DVD costing $19.95 and a digital streaming version $11.99.

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Over the last decade, Fathom Events and the exhibition community have experienced great success bringing alternative entertainment events to movie theaters nationwide. This agreement with Amazon allows fans to experience select events again from their own living room or available connected device,” says Shelly Maxwell, executive vp of Fathom Events. “This strategic alliance is just another way for us to expand our deals, benefiting both theater owners and their audiences.”

Fathom is part of National CineMedia Inc., which is 48.6 percent owned by and managed by three of the largest movie exhibitors in North America -  AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group – along with some other regional movie theater circuits. The rest was sold to the public in a stock offering. NCM also operates a digital broadcast network which delivers pre-show advertising to theaters.

NCM Fathom reaches more than 700 movie theaters in 167 markets across the country, and through a related entity operates 42 entertainment related web sites.

Amazon Instant Video, delivered over the Internet, used to be called Amazon Video On Demand. It completes with Netflix and other on demand and video streaming providers. It has been available in the U.S. since 2006.