Hollywood Movies Playing On Your Cable TV Soon

Mumbai: | Updated: May 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
In a major breakthrough, movies from major Hollywood studios will be available for cable TV viewing for the first time in the country.

Indo Overseas Films, who are importers of English movies in India, have joined hands with Mumbai-based Live Satellite Media to form Diskovery Movie Club to distribute English films to cable operators across the country for screening on their networks.

The company has procured 7-year cable TV rights to 900 English movies and plans to increase it to 2,000 by December-end.

We have cable TV rights to movies from MGM, Warner Brothers and Universal, besides other independent producers. Cable operators can now officially show them on their networks, said Ashish Choudhary, one of the promoters of Live Satellite Media.

Major Hollywood studios like 20th Century Fox and Paramount, however, are yet to part with cable TV rights.

Cable operators have been showing pirated videos, though there has been a drastic reduction in such instances after the seven big Hollywood studios got together to combat piracy.

The major studios are reluctant to part with their cable TV rights. We have 150 movie rights for cable TV from independent producers. But no major titles are available for purchase, said Ultra managing director Sushil Agarwal.

Diskovery Movie Club will get a royalty for supplying official software in terms of VCDs/VHS tapes to run on their local cable channel. The royalty charges have different slabs, depending on the size of the cable network.

For operators who have up to 2,000 points, the fee will be Rs 8 per subscriber a month. The charge for those who have connectivity between 2,000 to 5,000, the fee is Rs 7 per point, while those who have above 5,000 points will have to pay Rs 6 per subscriber.

The minimum charge for cable networks having less than 200 points has been fixed at Rs 2,000 per month.

The company is targeting 1,000 headends across the country in the first year of operations. We will be offering two movies a day. There will be adult movie content, too, said Mr Choudhary.

The software includes fast action movies, thrillers, comedies and childrens classics. DMC also offers to cable operators popular serials, adventure shows, wildlife videos, cookery shows, documentaries, exercise videos and cartoons. It has acquired rights to animation classics from Paris-based BKN International. The cable operators will be allowed to run local ads on their channel as a source of revenue.