Reel Blog

CBG narrows digital cinema vendors to four

The Cinema Buying Group, representing more than 8,700 North American movie screens, has narrowed its list of prospective vendors for its digital cinema RFP to four. For this second round, vendors must provide sufficiently detailed cost information which would enable CBG to evaluate the total initial and recurring costs to exhibitors – details that were necessarily lacking in the initial round of proposals.

The vendors, according to CGB’s press release – AccessIT, Digiserv, Kodak and Technicolor – will also now need to describe how they will accommodate all CBG members – whether by the creation of different classes based upon different cost structures, different equipment packages, different sequencing, or otherwise.

This request of the vendors is made with the understanding that distributors may not wish to sign open-ended VPFs with four different vendors. According to Kendrick Macdowell, NATO Vice President and General Counsel, and counsel to CBG:

We have asked distributors to execute CBG-specific VPF agreements with the remaining four vendors as expeditiously as possible so that these vendors can crunch their numbers and respond with their final and best offer to CBG members.

These VPFs would likely be conditioned on a winning bid for the CBG project and allow for a competitive final phase of the RFP.

According to CBG managing director Wayne Anderson:

For small theater owners across North America, this process means surviving the digital cinema revolution, and that means not losing access to the big screen in many communities. We’re pleased with the quality of the submissions so far, and we hope to move this final selection phase quickly.