Euro1080 acquires HDTV cinema exhibition license for 2006 Fifa World Cup

MUMBAI: Euro1080, the first High Definition Television (HDTV) media company in Europe, has reached an agreement with football's governing body Fifa's marketing agency Infront Sports & Media with regard to the commercial exploitation of HDTV transmissions of the 2006 Fifa World Cup for public viewing purposes in cinema

Infront handles the global sales of all broadcast rights for the 2006 Fifa World Cup worldwide. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Host Broadcast Services (HBS), will produce the multilateral signal for the event in the HDTV 16/9 widescreen format.

Euro1080 has acquired the non-exclusive broadcast rights for theatrical venues or cinemas on a pay basis. It entitles the company to pick up the HDTV live feed at the International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Munich and to distribute it to cinemas in 23 European countries, including Belgium, Bosnia-Bulgaria, and the UK. By cooperating with Euro1080, cinemas will be able to organise live, pay HDTV exhibitions of the event..

Furthermore, Euro 1080 has started talks with the event's official broadcasters to bring this competition in selected markets also to home viewers in HD quality. At this stage the majority of households in Europe will receive the signal only in standard definition format.

Infront executive director Dominik A. Schmid, said, ?Infront is very happy about this initiative of Euro1080 as it supports the promotion of HDTV as the standard of the future. The agreement enables cinemas all over Europe to transmit matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup? in HD quality. It also provides an opportunity to showcase HD transmissions to home viewers in markets where national broadcasters are not yet ready to broadcast in HD quality.?

Euro1080 CEO Gabriel Fehervari says, ?The agreement with Infront is very important for a media company such as Euro1080. At present negotiations are under way in several countries with cinema owners and very soon we will be able to give a first overall view of the deals made. In the meantime, we work on agreements with official broadcasters to bring the World Cup also to private homes across Europe.?

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