CinemaCon 2012: Warners, Universal, DCIP Roll Out Satellite Delivery Effort

The not-for-profit network will be available to content owners and theaters.

LAS VEGAS—Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition—a consortium whose members are Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (jointly owned by AMC, Cinemark and Regal)—is beginning to build its planned not-for-profit, satellite delivery network for digital cinema in North America.

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The network will be available to all content owners and theaters, and could be completed within the year,  Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations and a DCDC board member, reported.

Since DCDC will be run as a not-for-profit entity, once all the monies invested by the partners are returned through operations of the system, 95 percent of the money that would otherwise be considered profit, will be paid or credited on a pro-rata basis to the users of the system in proportion to the amount they use it. The goal is to drive down the cost of delivering content for both content providers and exhibitors, while providing a highly reliable, state-of-the-art platform for the high-speed distribution of content of all types.

The move represents a multi-million dollar investment from each of the participants, Antonellis said.

Such a network has the potential to deliver on some of the promise of digital cinema, which would reduce the cost of distribution and provide more flexibility over what content is shown. Today hard drives are often used to deliver digital content to theaters. But with more than 60 percent of screen in North America now digital, Antonellis said “there are a lot of benefits to be gained with digital delivery.”

Per the plan, DCDC will own the network, and has selected Deluxe/Echostar as its service provider. 

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