Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

News in Brief - may 2011


SAMSUNG has launched a 3DTV service to give owners of its 3D sets access to more 3D footage. Andy Griffiths, the company’s UK Consumer Electronics Vice-President, said that Samsung was “clearly not a broadcaster”, but added that owners of 3D televisions were frustrated that a limited amount of 3D programming was available, especially if they did not pay TV subscriptions. Limited numbers of trailers for 3D films will be made available via the web to owners of compatible models, as will a number of “lifestyle documentaries” such as those made by car manufacturers.

FOLLOWING the March 2011 launch of the Penthouse 3D Pan European hardcore channel, Penthouse Digital Media Productions, a subsidiary of FriendFinder Networks, has announced a Penthouse 3D “softcore” channel on the DTH platform Digiturk in Turkey. Highlights of the softcore feed include 100% 3D native HD programming providing approximately 30 hours of refreshed content each month.

SVENSK Filmindustri has secured a long-term distribution deal with MGM to represent the studio's catalogue and new releases in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The deal covers theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray releases for a five-year period. This gives SF the rights to the entire MGM catalogue and new titles, including the highly anticipated upcoming two Hobbit films and the next film in the Bond franchise.

IN INDIA, film prints on polyester find few takers, but efforts are on to restore old ones made on silver iodide. The National Film Archives of India (NFAI) has seen a 60% jump in digitalisation and restoration. NFAI director Prashant Pathrabe said, "We have 230 films for digitisation and restoration this year, of which 190 have been done. In 2009 we only had about 115 films."

CINRAM has announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with Relativity Media to serve as the company’s exclusive replicator for DVD and Blu-ray products. Relativity Media is a next-generation studio engaged in multiple aspects of entertainment including full-scale film and television production and distribution, and the co-financing of major studio film slates and digital media. Currently, Relativity has the box office hit Limitless in theatres and, accumulated, the company’s slate of films has earned $15 billion in box office revenue across the globe.

WARNER Music Group and Access Industries, the US-based industrial group are to merge. Access Industries will acquire WMG in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.3 billion. The purchase includes WMG’s entire recorded music and music publishing businesses. Following the closing of the transaction, WMG will become a privately held company and its stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will retain the Warner Music Group name.

ACCORDING to Rentrak’s State Of VOD: Trend Report 2010, last year, an average of 38 million set-top boxes per month accessed VOD content, an 11% increase over 2009, while 44% of all enabled set-top boxes accessed VOD in an average month. VOD users had an average of 17.1 transactions per month in 2010 but Free-on-Demand represented 74% of all VOD transactions. Music, Kids and TV Entertainment remain the top FOD Categories, with TV Entertainment being the fastest growing; up 31% year-over-year. The Movies-On-Demand business was up 9.1%, to almost $1 billion in revenue.