DirecTV CEO Says Demand for Premium Film Rentals Has Been Low — and He Knows Why

Sep 23, 2011  •  Post A Comment

DirecTV Chief Executive Michael White said demand for at-home rentals of movies recently released in theaters has been "small" and the reason is obvious: The $29.99 price tag, he said, is "awfully high," reports Bloomberg.

DirecTV started offering some Hollywood films on an on-demand basis for $29.99 just 60 days after they were released in theaters, the story notes. Traditionally, pay-TV services have waited 90 to 120 days to air films on TV.

“They’re priced too high for consumers,” White said. “We didn’t choose that price, but that’s where the studios forced us to be.”

He said more customers won’t buy premium rentals until the price comes down and the quality of the movies improves, the article adds.


  1. That’s almost as dumb as the folks at Netflix. Rent a movie for $30, or buy it on disc for less than $20. Hmmm. Tough choice…

  2. @ Scott – in this instance, it’s talking about movies that are still in theaters (or probably are anyway) since it’s 60 days after the theater release date. Even some of the earliest disc releases are about 90 days after the fact.
    If you have a movie that is still in theaters, and you and 3 friends want to watch it, it would cost about $40 (or more) to all go to a theater. So $30 to watch it at home with as many people as you like isn’t a ripoff in that scenario. But of course, that sort of thing has to be very rare, given the numbers discussed in this article.
    Personally, I only see a couple of movies – usually big-screen blockbusters – in a theater each year. For everything else, I can wait until it’s available on Netflix or for purchase at a store.

  3. Christian, you make a good and valid point. But I’ll still wait and buy it so I can watch it with many friends and as often as I want and still only spend $20. But that doesn’t mean I won’t see it in a theater first. And don’t get me started on Netflix! Have a great evening!

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