National CineMedia (NCM) Adds Southern Theatres to Its Cinema and Fathom Networks

New Type of Long-Term Affiliate Agreement Includes the Presentation of NCM’s FirstLook Cinema Advertising Program and NCM Fathom Events

May 12, 2011
"Southern Theatres is a great addition to the NCM network. Its high-quality theaters allow us to increase our overall national reach and provide enhanced geographic coverage in many mid-sized markets in the Southeastern U.S."

CENTENNIAL, Colo. & NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National CineMedia (NCM), a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology, has entered into a new type of long-term network affiliate agreement with Southern Theatres, LLC, management company for VSS-Southern Theatres (“Southern”).

Under the terms of the exclusive long-term agreement, Southern’s 19 Grand Theatres and AmStar Cinemas locations with 278 screens in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas will join the NCM Cinema Network beginning in July 2011. In addition to exclusively presenting NCM’s FirstLook pre-feature program, select Southern locations will also present NCM Fathom’s live and pre-recorded Entertainment and Business Events. Southern has an estimated annual attendance of approximately 9.5 million patrons, making it one of the 15 largest theater circuits in U.S. The structure of the agreement provides for an upfront payment that allows Southern to monetize a portion of its advertising business, while providing higher operating margins to NCM than network affiliate agreements signed in the past.

“Southern Theatres is a great addition to the NCM network. Its high-quality theaters allow us to increase our overall national reach and provide enhanced geographic coverage in many mid-sized markets in the Southeastern U.S.,” said Kurt Hall, NCM’s president and chief executive officer. “This new, long-term affiliate structure offers a great way for Southern to unlock some of the value of their theater circuit while participating in the benefits of being part of our growing national advertising and Fathom networks.” Mr. Hall concluded, “We look forward to working with the Southern management team to deliver NCM’s quality FirstLook pre-show entertainment to their patrons and incremental attendance through NCM Fathom events.”

“NCM offers a great portfolio of programming and experiences that increase the value of our theaters to our guests,” said George Solomon, CEO of Southern Theatres, LLC. “We look forward to working with the team at NCM for many years to come.”

The new affiliate agreement with Southern Theatres is the most recent expansion of the NCM Cinema Network – the largest digital in-theater video and satellite distribution network in North America. NCM currently has exclusive, long-term cinema advertising agreements in place with founding member exhibitors AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, totaling approximately 1,160 theaters and 15,300 screens, as well as network affiliate relationships with 21 top regional theater circuits representing approximately 320 theaters and 3,400 screens.

About National CineMedia (NCM)

NCM operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom present cinema advertising and events across the nation’s largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM’s theater advertising network covers 170 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes approximately 17,200 screens (16,100 digital). During 2010, over 680 million patrons attended movies shown in theaters currently included in NCM’s network (including Consolidated Theatres, Rave Cinemas, Coming Attractions and Digiplex Destinations). The NCM Fathom Events broadcast network is comprised of over 600 locations in 163 Designated Market Areas® (all of the top 50). The NCM Interactive Network offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing 43 entertainment-related websites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 48.6% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit www.nationalcinemedia.com or www.ncm.com.

About Southern Theatres, LLC

Southern Theatres, LLC, owned and operated by George Solomon, was formed in May 2002. George has been in the theater business with his family for over 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC to develop and operate state-of-the art multiplex stadium-seating movie theaters.

In April 2005, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) made a $30 million equity investment in Southern Theatres, L.L.C. VSS is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe.

Southern Theatres, LLC is responsible for the daily operations of The Grand Theatres and Amstar Cinemas in 19 locations with 278 screens in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas with one additional location and 14 screens planned for 2011. The Company is well positioned for continued expansion in key markets throughout the Southeast. Southern Theatres, L.L.C. is proud to be headquartered in New Orleans, LA.

For more information, visit http://www.thegrandtheatre.com.

Contact:

NCM Media Networks
Lauren Leff, 303-957-1709
lauren.leff@ncm.com
or
Amy Jane Finnerty, 212-931-8117
amy.finnerty@ncm.com
or
Southern Theatres LLC
Jodi Pine, 504-297-1133
jodip@southerntheatres.com