Will consumers pay as much as $30 to watch films at home soon after they leave the movie thaters? Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney are in discussions with the largest cable operators to offer consumers that option, reports Bloomberg News.
The studios are talking with In Demand, a partnership with Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications, the story says, citing an interview with In Demand Chief Executive Bob Benya.
Disney is likely to test consumer demand for such a service by using a single film, although the company hasn’t decided on pricing or the window between the film’s release and its cable release, the story says.
Disney declined to comment on the plan, the story says. Disney is also talking about streaming films on devices such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 3, the article says.
According to the article, "Sony Corp. tested the market with users of its Bravia TV by offering the Will Smith movie “Hancock” in 2008 and the animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in 2009 for $24.95. The Tokyo-based owner of Sony Pictures hasn’t announced plans for another movie through its TV sets.Time Warner Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Martin told the Goldman Sachs conference in New York last week that the company’s Warner Bros. studio expects to begin tests on the service later this year. He said he expected the offering to be priced at $20 to $30 per viewing."
TVWeek remembers a time, about a decade ago or longer, when John Malone, then running the nation’s largest cable operator, Tele-Communications, Inc., floated the idea of charging cable subscribers $30-$50 to see a movie, but that was to see them before they were released in theaters, while the current plan is a big charge to see movies after they leave theaters.