Deal will cover next 25 Hindi releases

Indian DVD giant Moser Baer Entertainment will handle the homevid releases for the next 25 Hindi movies delivered by Disney’s partner in India, UTV Software Communications.

Move effectively means that UTV has exited the sector.

Moser Baer will release 10 movies from UTV’s recent catalog and has home entertainment rights to all UTV productions through the end of 2009.

The two companies are expected to sign a separate deal covering UTV’s world movies slate in the coming weeks.

Moser Baer, the world’s second largest manufacturer of blank DVDs, transformed the Indian homevid sector when it moved into content and distribution and amassed rights to thousands of movies in different Indian languages.

Able to replicate movies at lower cost than other home entertainment firms, it has slashed retail prices for DVDs.

The move has proved controversial, but Moser Baer contends that it has expanded the market and is neutralizing the pirate business. It will sell UTV’s Hindi movies for 99 rupees ($2.08) with a window of six to eight weeks after theatrical release.

“We prefer to license out our music and homevideo rights. Our focus is on content creation, aggregation and distribution,” said UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur.

UTV had self-distributed some 15 Hindi movies.

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