Signaling a major breakthrough into the world's fastest emerging cinema market, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that it has reached a deal to become the first studio to offer VOD to Chinese households.
The agreement could potentially give Warner access to 200 million cable homes in China starting this summer.
Here's the full Warner release:
WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT TO BECOME FIRST STUDIO TO OFFER FILMS ON DEMAND NATIONALLY VIA TELEVISION SETS IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
YOU ON DEMAND, CHINA’S FIRST-EVER NATIONAL PAY-PER-VIEW AND VIDEO ON DEMAND PLATFORM, WILL DISTRIBUTE WARNER BROS.’ FILMS TO A POTENTIAL 200 MILLION CABLE HOUSEHOLDS
FIRST WARNER BROS. TITLES WILL BE AVAILABLE THIS SUMMER VIA YOU ON DEMAND BRANDED CABLE AND INTERNET PROTOCOL (IPTV) SERVICE
BEIJING, CHINA, June 15, 2011 – Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced the studio will begin offering its films nationally On Demand to consumers’ television sets in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Through a distribution agreement with CAV Warner Home Entertainment Co., Ltd., Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s joint venture in China, and YOU On Demand Holdings, Inc.’s (OTCBB: CBBD) PRC joint venture, YOU On Demand Media, consumers will be able to access Warner Bros.’ new release and catalog films this summer through the first national Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand platform in China.
YOU On Demand will operate under an exclusive 20-year joint venture with CCTV-6’s pay TV arm China Home Cinema (CHC), to become the first national Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand platform in China. Warner Bros. Entertainment will leverage YOU On Demand’s platform to provide a potential 200 million cable households access to the studio’s films on their television sets. YOU On Demand anticipates their service will be available in three million cable TV homes in China by the end of this summer, which is comparable to the subscriber base of top cable operators in the United States.
“China is developing methods for consumers to view movies outside the cinema in a legitimate fashion,” said Jim Wuthrich, President, International Home Video and Digital Distribution, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. “Through YOU On Demand’s platform, millions of potential consumers will be able to view our films. They will make it easy for consumers to see the latest films including ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.’”
"Our distribution agreement with Warner Bros. marks a historic milestone for our company," said Shane McMahon, YOU On Demand’s Chairman and CEO. "I’m excited for the millions of Chinese consumers that will be able to experience and enjoy the very best content that Hollywood has to offer through the YOU On Demand platform."