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DirecTV to Get Movies Ahead of Netflix, Redbox

20 Apr, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Hollywood’s creation of a retail and video-on-demand window took another step when DirecTV said it would soon offer new-release movies on street date — 28 days before their availability for rent on Netflix and Redbox.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video in May will make available more than 400 new-release and catalog titles for transactional video-on-demand (VOD) to the El Segundo, Calif.-based satellite operator’s 19 million subscribers.

Movies will be available for rent from $4.99 for up to 48 hours per selection.

Studios, cable and satellite operators recently bowed a $30 million marketing campaign, “The Video Store Just Moved In,” intended to underscore the ease of renting VOD movies through the TV remote control.

Comcast also will offer the movies to subscribers on VOD 28 days ahead of Netflix and Redbox.

Universal, Fox and Warner have aggressively sought to establish a retail and VOD window for movies by signing separate agreements with Netflix, Blockbuster and Redbox.

Blockbuster features new-release movies via Blockbuster On Demand that can be viewed for a fee directly on an Internet-enabled TV, T-Mobile mobile phone or connected media device, including Samsung Blu-ray Disc players.


Blockbuster reported that 93% of the Top 100 box office movies of 2009 are available On Demand, compared to 22% on Netflix.

The company said that among the Top 10 movies, such as Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Hangover, Star Trek, The Blind Side, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, not one was available for streaming on Netflix.

“Research tells us that 15% to 20% of our customers also subscribe to Netflix, so that’s where the genesis of this idea came from,” Paul Guyardo, chief marketing officer with DirecTV, told Bloomberg.



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