DCDC to provide satellite and digital delivery platform to Cinema Buying Group
The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) has concluded a template agreement with the Cinema Buying Group, comprised of approximately 600 small- and medium-sized independent U.S. exhibitor members of the National Association of Theatre Owners’ (NATO) CBG program. Pursuant to the agreement, DCDC will provide access to its cost-efficient North American satellite and terrestrial digital delivery platform, announced DCDC CEO Randy Blotky and David Binet, director of membership for NATO.
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 leading exhibitors AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres and Regal Entertainment, and major studios Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, went live in October with the historic 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 of DCDC.
“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. Blotky 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 theatres. 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, WY-based Orpheum Theatre, Inc., commented, “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 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 theatres. 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 theatre sites, is a “smart pipe” made up of sophisticated electronics, software and hardware, including satellites, high-speed terrestrial links and hard drives as backup. 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 LLC 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.