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DADAGIRI 2 changes Bindass’ fortunes

MUMBAI: UTV Motion Pictures has decided to air its low-budget film Phir Kabhi on the direct-to-home (DTH) platform next month.

The move is seen by UTV and DTH operators as an experiment in the right direction for both producers of small-budget films and the platform itself.

Says UTV Motion Pictures vice-president, international distribution and syndication Amrita Pandey, "For small-budget movies, investments in theatrical publicity and distribution costs do not justify the revenues they bring in, so for such niche films, we are exploring DTH as a platform on an experiment basis."

Phir Kabhi will release on all major DTH platforms including Tata Sky, Dish TV, Big TV and Digital TV. However, Pandey refused to reveal details of the agreement between UTV and DTH operators on the financial aspects of the deal.

While the price is yet to be finalised, the film will be released on a pay-per-view basis. Generally a pay-per-view or video-on-demand service is made available only to viewers who ask for it and pay for the content independently.
An on-demand film on DTH platforms costs anywhere between Rs 25 to Rs100 but Pandey expects that the cost for Phir Kabhi would be around Rs 50 to 75.

Said a Dish TV spokesperson, "We haven't yet decided upon the charges. By next week we would come out with the charges for showing Phir Kabhi. However, the rates will be around Rs 75, the rate at which we are currently charging for Dev D."

DTH operators are optimistic about such a trend catching on and are hoping that pay-per-view emerges as a separate revenue stream. Currently, the pay-per-view business contributes an insignificant amount to their revenues.

"With a growing base of 13 million homes in India and a technology platform, DTH provides a viable digital distribution platform to producers," avers Big TV chief executive officer Sanjay Behl.

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