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Disney Movie Download Service ‘Encouraging'

6 Jan, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Walt Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner said Tuesday that initial rollouts of Movie Beam, a TiVo-like video-on-demand subscription service, in Salt Lake City, Spokane, Wash., and Jacksonville, Fla., are “encouraging.”

Addressing attendees of an entertainment and telecommunications conference in Phoenix, Eisner said feedback from customer focus groups citing the hassle of driving to video stores and late fees as primary motivators in the $7 per month service.

Movie Beam allows consumers to download up to 100 films (at $4 per new release; $2.50 per catalog release) into a set-top box via over-the-air TV broadcast spectrums. Each film can be viewed repeatedly over a 24-hour period.

He said Movie Beam, which is scheduled to receive an award at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, could break even with 2 million subscribers.

“We don't know how far we'll go with it,” Eisner said. “We hold it to be somewhat promising.”

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