Reliance, UFO land digital deal

Satellite service to help Indian exhibitor expand reach

Reliance MediaWorks, which owns India’s largest theater loop, has entered into a strategic alliance with Indian digital satellite cinema network UFO Movies to establish a gateway for digital film releases.

Reliance’s Big Cinemas has 254 screens in 78 cities, while UFO has equipped 1,800 theaters in the country with its technology that allows films to be beamed via satellite. UFO will recommend Reliance’s programming services to these cinemas.

The alliance will allow Reliance to extend its distribution reach and curb piracy. UFO is setting up an encoding and encryption facility at Reliance’s Mumbai premises that will digitize around 15 films a week.

“By combining our unique strengths, Reliance MediaWorks and UFO Moviez will accelerate the creation of a secure digital ecosystem that facilitates a wider reach for digital distribution of movies, delivering to movie consumers a superior experience, more content, with greater reliability and lower costs. That’s where we can make a real difference,” said Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun.

Reliance MediaWorks is the first film services facility in India to be accredited by the U.K.’s Federation Against Copyright Theft.