Television

Eros International-Central Partnership step into content distribution

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MUMBAI: Eros International PLC, a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, has announced a strategic partnership with leading Russian distribution and production company Central Partnership (CP), affiliate of Gazprom Media Holding, to promote and distribute Indian and Russian content across multiple platforms in both countries.

This association includes exploitation via licensing of intellectual property rights owned by each party in their respective markets and distribution of film projects for both India and Russia, opening up the market for the two companies to explore new geographies. CP will dub films from Eros? extensive film library in Russian language which will enable the company to cater to a much larger audience in Russia and CIS. Eros can further utilize the dubbed content on its digital platform, Eros Now, to reach out to a wider audience in Russia.

With the rapid growth of satellite pay TV in Russia, there is an increased demand for premium digital and television content. This alliance will pave the way for CP to showcase extensive repository of Bollywood films from the Eros library on pay TV. Furthermore, CP will also approach free TV channels to explore showcasing of Indian titles. Similarly, Eros will endeavor to distribute CP media assets on Indian television.

This collaboration will also enable the launch of Eros Now, the on-demand OTT digital platform of EROS, in Russia and CIS. CP will endeavor to showcase Eros Now?s VOD content on the leading digital distribution network RUFORM through Rutube (web video streaming service targeted in Russia) while Eros will facilitate featuring Russian content on Eros Now.

Eros International group CEO & managing director Jyoti Deshpande said, ?With our entry into the Russian market, we continue to build our strong global position and are delighted to take the lead in associating with the prestigious Russian film company Central Partnership. Russia?s domestic market potential is promising and coupled with the rise in digital consumption by local audiences, we see a huge opportunity in exploiting exciting, unique and high-quality content together to reach audiences across the two diaspora.?

Central Partnership CEO Pavel Stepanov added, ?Our strategic partnership is a big step for both companies in their international expansion, since content from India is now underrepresented in Russia and vice-versa. Our plan is to benefit from both companies? leading positions in domestic markets to change this layout."

Russia?s box office grew in the first half of this year by 8.6% to 29 billion rubles (US$ 413 million), while attendance was up year-on-year by 9% (112 million tickets sold). Foreign films continue to be the main driver of growth in the market. Between January-June box office for foreign films grew by 9.6% to 23 billion rubles (US$ 327 million), while attendance rose from 78.6 million to 88 million. Meanwhile, box office for Russian films in the period increased by 5.1%, to about 6.1 billion rubles (US$87 million), while attendance improved fractionally from 24.5 million to 24.7 million people.

Eros International acquires, co-produces and distributes Indian films across all available formats such as cinema, television and digital new media.Central Partnership, the exclusive distributor of Paramount Pictures in Russia, owns the largest library there comprising over 700 features and 3300 hours of TV series.

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