The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC), a joint venture satellite distribution operation between Warner Brothers, Universal Studios and Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (which is comprised of leading US exhibitors AMC, Regal and Cinemark) is planning to move ahead rapidly and have chosen Deluxe/EchoStar as its service provider. The non-profit operation’s goal is to drive down the cost of delivering content for both the studios and the theaters.
Beta-tests of satellite delivery are planned for fall of 2012, with a full deployment to 11,000 US screens in 2013. They estimate that distribution costs will be half that of delivering films on hard drives. Once the initial investment has been recouped, money that is generated by the operation will be paid to system users.
In related news, Arquiva, a pioneer in electronic delivery of cinema content via satellite in Europe, recently announced that they had delivered their 100th full-length feature film to their 700 cinema network, which spans 12 European countries.
Projector market research firm Pacific Media Associates has been following the Digital Cinema market closely since the transition to digital began. With the demise of movies on actual film slotted for 2013, more options for content delivery to exhibitors should help to move the market, and the digital transition, forward.