Digital movie distributions firms K Sera Sera and United Mediaworks are merging their operations to form a new equal joint venture called KSSUMW Digital. K Sera Sera’s Satish Panchariya will be the chairman of the new joint venture, while Ashish Bhandari from United Mediaworks will be the managing director. The existing workforce will remain unaffected at both companies.
The joint venture will spend Rs 100 crore in the next two to three years to improve its digital cinema technology, on ground services and digital content security. The company also mentions that it will build a technology platform for content acquisition, processing and field servicing and provide these solutions to multiplexes and single screen theatres. Overall, the joint venture aims to be present in 2000 screens in India over the next 2 years.
As of now, United Mediaworks focuses on providing its services in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, Gujarat, West Bengal and Karnataka, while K Sera Sera focuses on the Delhi, UP, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh markets. Both companies service the theatre industry in the country with movie distributions, projectors, digital content security etc.
K Sera Sera court cases: In June, after having filed a case against NBC Universal, UFO Movies and Real Image Media citing anticompetitive activities and cartelisation, digital cinema provider K Sera Sera entered into an agreement with them over the right to screen the movie Fast and Furious 7 on its network across the country.
In April, KSS had also dragged Disney to court over the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron where KSS said that Disney had decided to release the movie only in the digital format through D Cinema Technology, which was anticompetitive and restrictive, causing unfair competition. However, the CCI, at that point, had rejected this complaint citing no ‘prima facie’ evidence that competition norms were violated.
TV18 tie up: Last year, KSS tied up with TV18 Broadcast Ltd for its Gujarati business channel CNBC Bajar to air several programs and host investor education conferences in partnership with the news channel.