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UTV premieres movies online

Conglomerate strikes deals with trio

Indian entertainment conglom UTV will on Friday premiere two of its movies online, the Vikram Bhatt-helmed “Fear” and Vishal Bhardwaj’s “The Blue Umbrella.” It has struck deals with Rajshri.com, Bigflicks.com and Indyaondemand.com.

“Fear” will not have a theatrical release, while “The Blue Umbrella” will simultaneously bow online and in theaters.

Company says that the online releases are principally targeted at auds outside India. “Our audiences overseas have lesser ease of access to our films as compared to audiences here in India,” said Siddharth Roy Kapur, UTV Motion Pictures exec VP, marketing, distribution and syndication. “Using the Internet as a medium of distribution is the way forward for content owners to combat piracy, which is to have movies available for viewing legitimately online.”

Both movies will be available on a download-to-own basis instead of the more usual download-to-rent system sporting a 72-hour viewing window protected by digital rights management systems. UTV also will offer pics in standard and high-resolution versions priced at $9.99 and $19.99, respectively.

In May UTV’s global preem of “Life in a Metro” saw a simultaneous theatrical outing and an online release through Rajshri.com.

Other Indian firms are also proactive developers of Internet distribution. Eros Intl. has a partnership with Intel and earlier this year launched a Bollywood on-demand service.

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