Kishore Lulla, Eros International

<img src="graphics/intel/EROS_LOGO.gif" border=0> <br> <span class="contentsmall"><i>Variety</i> president & publisher Charlie Koones conducted interviews with Intel and its alliances: Anytime on Demand, ClickStar, Eros International, Movielink.</span>

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  Lulla

If you needed proof that broadband is connecting the entire world, look no further than Eros International, the world’s largest distributor of Bollywood films. Having collected rights to more than 1,300 films over the past three decades, Eros sees broadband distribution as essential to bringing those films to audiences around the world. Eros chairman-CEO Kishore Lulla explains how Intel® Viiv™ technology is helping Eros reach a global audience through its new online service, B on Demand.

Q: What is Eros doing in this space?
A: Eros owns a large library of newmedia rights and we have initiated a new-media brand called B on Demand. This is our first new-media initiative for India and the whole industry has endorsed it. We work with Intel on this initiative to influence Bollywood to adopt new-media as a new business revenue opportunity. If you don’t accept it, piracy is going to take over this revenue. However, if we adapt to the change, we will be able to generate more revenue via broadband distribution.

Q: Tell me about the release windows and how you are releasing in broadband relative to the other windows.
A: Bollywood doesn’t work like Hollywood. We have quite aggressive windows. The DVD is released between six to eight weeks or, for the blockbusters, three months after theatrical. We are planning to create more aggressive windows and offer different models on B on Demand like subscription, pay-per-view, downloadto- own, download-to-burn, synch-andgo and burn-and-go.

Q: Explain how Intel® Viiv™ technology makes online movies a great experience.
A: It’s all about the consumer and making it seamless. It’s not about just downloading it on the computer or the PC; it should be a living-room experience. We thought that if the consumer can have the choice to enjoy the content wherever he wants, that would be the best way to go about it.

Q: How big of an opportunity is that in India right now?
A: Did you know that India has the fifth largest number of Internet users anywhere in the world? We have already launched our http://www.bondemand.tv service globally on a 2-foot interface, including in India. As broadband penetration picks up, we think India will be a very significant market. We hope our comarketing efforts with Intel in India will help grow this category even more.

Q: What is Intel’s business role in this process?
A: Intel’s business role is helping us in every technological effort to realize our vision. I think Intel is helping us in every manner — this is the model, this is how we want to reach our consumer, what are the technical hitches, how the business model can work, how to put business partners together. Intel is filling in the whole chain — they are where the gaps are — to reach the end consumer and give the consumer the best experiences.

Q: Is there any advice you’d give to other distributors as they consider what you’re doing?
A: Embrace the technology — don’t hold back — and monetize the content you have. If you don’t embrace the technology, the consumer who wants this experience will get it from other illegal ways.

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