The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) has gone live with the launch of its North American satellite and terrestrial digital distribution platform to 17,000 screens across 1,200 venues.

DCDC, founded by AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, Regal Entertainment, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures, also announced the appointment of industry executive and attorney Randolph Blotky as CEO.

Since the Coalition launched, Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate signed on as content provider customers, while Southern Theatres and National Amusements recently joined as exhibition partners.

By the end of the year, DCDC intends to distribute 31 films over its network and plans to cover installation and maintenance.

DCDC is a “smart pipe” comprised of electronics, software and hardware, including satellites, high-speed terrestrial links and hard drives.

Each exhibition customer location will ultimately be provided with a satellite dish, V-Sat backchannel equipment and a catch server for receiving content, all of which is owned by DCDC.

A Network Operations Center monitors all deliveries of content to ensure on-time delivery. Deluxe/EchoStar LLC acts as the primary service provider for the DCDC platform, with installation and maintenance services from Hughes, a provider of digital television entertainment and satellite and wireless systems and services.

Technology provider Kencast powers the platform, which includes enabling delivery by satellite or fibre optics of large movie files and the streaming of live events to allow delivery of content to multiple screens.