Universal inks home video deal with BIG


    MUMBAI: BIG Music and Home Entertainment is steadily making its presence felt in the market. After making some top level management appointments, the company is looking at building up its library. Now it has signed a deal with Universal Pictures International as an exclusive licensee for India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.

    As a part of this alliance BIG Music and Home Entertainment will market and distribute Universal’s home video products from 1 October, 2007 onwards. Prior to this, Saregama India was the licensee for Universal Pictures for about three – four years. According to information available with Businessofcinema.com, Universal’s term with Saregama was ending on 30 September, 2007 and hence the new agreement was signed with BIG.

    Commenting on the same, BIG Music and Home Entertainment CEO Kulmeet Makkar says, “This is a very prestigious alliance for us. With this, BIG Music and Home Entertainment makes a grand entry into the Hollywood home entertainment industry in India. Universal Pictures is amongst Hollywood’s top studios with not only relevant catalogue for Indian market, but also some of the biggest Hollywood films of the year such as Bourne Ultimatum.”

    Elaborating on the company’s plans, Makkar adds, “BIG Music and Home Entertainment has decided to set up a dedicated team to manage and exploit Universal’s films and TV catalogue. The stock will reach the markets in October itself. We will not only distribute the content in the urban markets but go all out in localising this Hollywood content into regional languages by dubbing it for the mass markets. While the rates for the English language content will remain usual, the dubbed content will be available at lesser rates.”

    The company recently launched their first home video of Adlabs’ Cash. Going ahead they have plans of making in-roads in the home video segment and will be launching several Bollywood and South films.

    Universal Pictures is one of the largest and second oldest studio in Hollywood. The studio owns over 3000 films including Classic award winning films such as Gladiator, Day of the Jackal, Schindler’s List as well as blockbusters such as King Kong, The Mummy Series and The Fast and Furious series. It also has a range of children movies such as the Barbie series, Mr Bean, ET etc.

    BIG Music and Home Entertainment will launch all these titles as well as the forthcoming blockbusters such as Bourne Ultimatum, Charlie Wilson’s War, American Gangster, Evan Almighty, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Barbie the Island Princess and the popular TV show – Heroes, for the first time on VCD and DVD.

    Pertinent to note here is that apart from clinching the Universal Pictures deal, BIG Music and Home Entertainment has also wooed Saregama’s senior management comprising Makkar and many others. Additionally, some of Saregama’s artists like Jagjit Singh are also now housed under BIG Music and Home Entertainment.

    Related stories:
    Saregama’s Kulmeet Makkar to join Reliance home video & music division

    BIG Music and Home Entertainment ropes in Saregama’s Sunil Meghrajani

    Shweta Agnihotri is BIG Music & Home Entertainment COO