The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition has gone live with the launch of its North American satellite and terrestrial digital distribution platform to 17,000 screens across 1,200 venues. The founding partners that formed DCDC are leading exhibitors AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres and Regal Entertainment, and major studios Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures. The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate have signed on as content providers with Southern Theatres. National Amusements recently joined as exhibitor customers of DCDC.
DCDC also announced the appointment of Randolph Blotky as its CEO. Blotky, a prominent former senior entertainment industry executive, attorney, physicist and a leader in the entertainment/ technology space, previously served as DCDC’s principal consultant.
“This is a truly historic moment,” Blotky said. “DCDC represents the culmination of years of incredibly complex work, as well as the extraordinary contributions of so many visionary executives throughout the film and technology industries. They’ve succeeded in creating a groundbreaking venture that, simply put, turns the digital content distribution economic model on its head.”
Blotky has served for the past decade as chairman-CEO of Technology Convergence Partners, a consultancy focused on advising companies about the design and implementation of technology-enabled new business models. Previously, he served in senior executive capacities in the media and entertainment industry, most recently leading the expansion of consumer products at Warner Bros.
By the end of the year, DCDC intends to distribute a total of 31 films over its Network. It plans to substantially expand the platform to more venues and screens in 2014, with great potential for further growth in the years ahead.
DCDC is dedicated to providing a fair and uniform pricing structure to all of its customers. Each content provider and exhibitor using the service will see significantly reduced costs in delivering content to theaters. The rate is likely to continue to fall from where it is today as more and more content providers and exhibitors become customers of the platform.
DCDC, which will cover costs of installation and maintenance of the equipment located at individual theater sites, is a “smart pipe” made up of sophisticated 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.