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NCR Inks Distribution Deal With Universal

6 Oct, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

NCR Corp. Oct. 6 said it signed a distribution deal with Universal Studios Home Entertainment that gives the owner and operator of Blockbuster Express kiosks access to new-release titles 28 days after street date.

Duluth, Ga.-based NCR operates 7,000 Express kiosks through a license agreement with Dallas-based Blockbuster.

The deal with Universal mirrors similar agreements the studio signed with Redbox and Netflix, which grant delayed access to content in exchange for lower per-disc charges and superior copy depth. NCR has been acquiring new release Universal titles on street date through third party retail channels and not through Blockbuster.

The deal also gives NCR and Universal the opportunity to clearly define the consumer interest in day-and-date DVD rentals. That’s because unlike the studio's arrangements with Redbox and Netflix, NCR and Universal agreed to test premium priced rentals of select Universal titles, which would be available on street date. NCR plans to test the availability of select Universal titles at kiosks in designated markets, giving consumers the option of renting new titles nearly a month earlier. The two companies also will test DVD sell-through at Express kiosks.

“Our agreement to test premium day-and-date offers and new DVD sales will help us identify new outlets for our movies while giving our customers the flexibility and choice they want in their entertainment purchases,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

As part of the deal, Universal will directly supply NCR with new release DVD and Blu-ray titles effective immediately, beginning with Robin Hood and Get Him to the Greek.

Express kiosks are also capable of renting movie and music download to portable memory devices, such as SD or flash memory cards.

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