The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition has concluded a template agreement with the Cinema Buying Group that comprises approximately 600 small- and medium-sized independent U.S. exhibitor members of the National Association of Theatre Owners’ CBG program. Pursuant to the agreement, DCDC will provide access to its cost-efficient North American satellite and terrestrial digital delivery platform. DCDC CEO Randy Blotky and David Binet, director of membership for NATO, jointly announced the news.
The deal, negotiated on behalf of its members by NATO and the CBG, has the potential to significantly expand DCDC’s footprint among smaller theatrical exhibitors, which combined offer more than 7,000 screens.
The DCDC, founded by AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres and Regal Entertainment, and Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, went live in October with the launch of its platform to 17,000 screens across 1,200 venues. The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox,Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate have signed on as content provider customers of DCDC, with Southern Theatres and National Amusements joining as exhibitor customers.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer all CBG members the same access to our delivery platform that our larger exhibitor members have,” Blotky said. He will discuss total updated figures for DCDC during a CinemaCon panel on March 26.
CBG, a program within NATO, was formed to enhance the ability of its participants to obtain cost-justified discounts and more favorable payment terms with respect to their purchases of goods and services used in their operation of motion picture theaters. It also assists industry manufacturers and suppliers in promoting their goods and services, and in obtaining accurate information regarding product performance in the industry.
Bill Campbell, managing director of the CBG, and president of Sheridan, Wyoming-based Orpheum Theatre said, “On behalf of the CBG-NATO members, we look forward to utilizing the benefits of the DCDC delivery platform. The system will allow our members to gain greater access to more content.”
DCDC, which will cover costs of installation and maintenance of the equipment located at individual theater sites, is a smart pipe made up of electronics, software and hardware, including satellites, high-speed terrestrial links and hard drives as back up. Each exhibitor customer location will ultimately be provided with a DCDC owned-and-operated satellite dish, V-Sat backchannel equipment and a catch server for receiving content. A Network Operations Center monitors all deliveries of content to ensure on-time delivery.
Deluxe/EchoStar acts as the primary service provider for the DCDC platform, with installation and maintenance services from Hughes, a provider of digital television entertainment, and satellite and wireless systems and services. Technology provider Kencast powers the platform, which includes enabling delivery by satellite or fiber optics of very large movie files, and the streaming of live events to allow effective delivery of content to multiple screens in a multiplex.