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PARIS, France and BURBANK, Calif.—Dec 7, 2005
Thomson Signs Strategic Agreement with Twentieth Century Fox To Advance Digital Cinema Rollout Plans in North America
Twentieth Century Fox Agrees to Utilize Digital Projection Systems from Technicolor Digital Cinema In 5,000 Screens in the United States and Canada; Thomson on Track to Begin Beta Test Deployment in First Quarter of 2006
urther demonstrating its industry leadership in the provision of digital cinema services and technologies to major film studios, Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE: TMS) today announced that its Services division, through its Technicolor Digital Cinema business, has reached a long-term digital cinema equipment usage agreement with Twentieth Century Fox to advance Thomson’s groundbreaking plans for the distribution of digital cinema content and systems throughout North America. The accord follows the company’s recently-announced agreements with DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros.
Under the terms of the agreement, Twentieth Century Fox will distribute its film content digitally throughout the United States and Canada, and pay a virtual print fee to Technicolor Digital Cinema for content played on screens equipped with Technicolor systems, beginning in the first quarter of 2006. Twentieth Century Fox’s support of the Technicolor Digital Cinema plan covers an initial rollout of complete digital projection systems in up to 5,000 DCI-compliant screens over the next 3-4 years. Thomson, through its Technicolor Digital Cinema business, intends to deploy at least 15,000 digitally-equipped screens in the United States and Canada over the next 10 years through the initial rollout and additional phases.
“We are delighted to reach agreement with Fox on its use of our digital cinema systems, and greatly appreciate the help they have provided us in their thoughtfulness on how the conversion to digital is going to take place for the industry,” said Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor Electronic Distribution Services, and head of Technicolor Digital Cinema. “This is a further indication that we have a plan that is going to work for studios and exhibitors, and we look forward to working with Fox on this transition for the next several years.”
“Twentieth Century Fox has had a long and successful relationship with Technicolor Digital Cinema, dating back to 2001 and the company’s work on the digital cinema screening of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” said Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution at Twentieth Century Fox. “As a result, we are pleased to be involved with the Technicolor Digital Cinema business plan, and we look forward to partnering with Technicolor as it begins rolling out digital cinema systems next year.”
In addition to the digital cinema equipment usage agreements, Thomson intends to secure separate agreements for services associated with end-to-end digital cinema content preparation, distribution, and exhibition. Pursuant to its role in spearheading the deployment of digital projection systems covered by this plan, the company also intends to provide postproduction services, network services, and systems and equipment to its media and entertainment industry customers as digital cinema gains critical mass in key markets.
By launching a program with a plan to convert at least 15,000 screens in the United States and Canada, Thomson further believes it will have the scale to support all interested exhibitors in a move to digital cinema, from large chains through independents. In response to exhibitor and studio requests, Thomson will start its rollout with a beta test in the first quarter of 2006 to prove that DCI-compliant equipment (both 2K and 4K projectors) operates in a commercial environment at the very high level which all parties require.
Technicolor, a worldwide technology leader in the media and entertainment sector, is at the forefront of digital innovation. Our world class research and innovation laboratories enable us to lead the market in delivering advanced video services to content creators and distributors. We also benefit from an extensive intellectual property portfolio focused on imaging and sound technologies, based on a thriving licensing business. Our commitment: Enhance media experience on any screen, in theaters, at home and on the go.
Technicolor Directory page
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and equipment, and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients — content creators, content distributors, and users of its technology — realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly-changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA, and Thomson brands.
Thomson Directory page
Twentieth Century Fox (Los Angeles)
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