In a story from The Wall Street Journal, major studios and one of the country’s largest cable providers are in talks to bring movies to people’s living-rooms only weeks after the films are in theaters.
Executives from Time Warner Cable Inc. recently made the initial pitch to the Hollywood studios for what is being called “home theater on demand.” The main scenario being talked about would have consumers watch a movie at home only 30 days after its theatrical release. However, for this privilege they would have to pay $ 20 to $ 30 a film.
There are rumblings that a bunch of studios could sign on to a version of this proposal as soon as the fall. This would make the movies available on such a system by the end of the year or early 2011.
The studios who have looked over the proposal are Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Studios, General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures, Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.
As usual, this plan could potentially be “disruptive for the movie business, particularly theater owners.” This would overhaul the business model that has been in place for studios and exhibitors for years. This could also call into question cable channels that presently have deals with movie studios.
Also, Twentieth Century Fox Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has made it clear “that while his studio is exploring premium V.O.D. offerings, it is contemplating making movies available only during the period after they leave theaters.”
Lastly, according to a source, Paramount Pictures doesn’t appear likely buy in to this new proposal.