Deluxe Expands Pact With Satellite-Based EchoStar for Digital Theatrical Movie Distribution

Deluxe and EchoStar Corp. July 8 introduced an expanded movie distribution platform for U.S. theaters that adds high-speed, terrestrial broadband and a new content management portal to the companies’ existing satellite distribution, which currently serves more than 3,000 cinemas.

Theater operators can now choose to receive content over high-speed terrestrial or satellite connectivity and gain access to cloud-based content platform from Gofilex, a Dutch-based film delivery company Deluxe recently invested in.

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“Following our acquisition of 50% ownership interest in Gofilex, we are excited to bring this innovative e-delivery platform to the U.S.,” George Eyles, EVP/GM of worldwide cinema at Deluxe, said in a statement. “With thousands of cinemas still receiving hard drives, we will proactively target these locations to provide a sustainable electronic delivery solution.”

As cinemas welcome back vaccinated moviegoers, enhanced distribution Deluxe and EchoStar gives them a competitive advantage, bringing together Deluxe’s 100+ years of movie distribution experience, with EchoStar’s managed broadband services and Gofilex’s FilmVault to search, track and support real-time, time-shifted and encore events.

“We are excited to continue our longstanding relationship with Deluxe and collectively reshape the landscape for theatrical content distribution with the addition of managed, high-speed terrestrial broadband,” Ken Carroll, EVP of EchoStar, said in a statement. “Connecting theaters to high-speed broadband, we are able to support the current and future electronic delivery needs of the industry with unmatched scale and reliability.”

Satellite operator EcoStar is owned by Charlie Ergen, who also owns Dish Network.

Separately, Deluxe announced a strategic partnership with CineSend for electronic delivery of content to cinemas in Canada. The partnership joins CineSend’s existing network with Deluxe’s electronic delivery platform to create a single fulfilment solution.

“CineSend is a natural partner for Deluxe, whose goal is to offer a compelling solution for studios and distributors with global scale,” Eyles said.

Deluxe will be installing its Gofilex software onto CineSend’s CSX hardware, which is already widely deployed in cinemas across Canada.

Eric Rosset, VP of business development at CineSend, welcomed the announcement.

“Plugging our solution into a worldwide network makes perfect sense,” Rosset said in a statement. “The real winners are Hollywood studio clients whose distribution strategies are global in nature.”

CineSend will continue to provide its distribution services to film festivals, airlines, and diverse businesses with secure video streaming needs. Deluxe and CineSend will be working with the market to integrate the electronic delivery solution in Canada in the coming months.

Dish Consolidates Satellite TV Holdings

Dish Network May 20 announced it is combining certain EchoStar operations and other assets that comprise the company’s satellite business, including nine direct broadcast satellites and the certain key employees responsible for operations.

The 22.9 million stock transaction, which includes select real estate properties, will be distributed to EchoStar shareholders.

Dish in 2017 acquired select EchoStar assets to better deliver linear pay-TV and online platform Sling TV to subscribers. Key broadcast satellite operations and services remained with EchoStar, which is also owned by Dish chairman Charlie Ergen.

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“This transaction brings those operations, including the BSS satellites, associated assets and key team members, in house and we expect those additions will create operational efficiencies and improve both free cash flow and pre-tax earnings,” Dish CEO Erik Carlson said in a statement.

The transaction is structured to be a tax-free exchange and is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to satisfaction or waiver of closing conditions.