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Comcast Proposes HD VOD Movie Premieres

May 10, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Ever-aggressive about expanding and promoting Comcast’s video-on-demand platform, company President Steve Burke proposed Hollywood studios debut movies in VOD HD on the same day they are released in theaters.
Speaking at a National Cable Show panel in Las Vegas this week, Mr. Burke said cable operators could charge $30 to $60 for a special HD premiere of major theatrical titles, such as the next “Spider Man.”
The comments were reported in several publications covering the event, including Philadelphia Inquirer and TVPredictions.com. A Comcast spokesman confirmed the comments, but declined to elaborate.
The Dow Jones news service reported that at a press conference later, Mr. Burke also hinted that a deal with studios for same-day VOD debuts may be in the works.
“We have talked to studios about it,” Mr. Burke reportedly said. “Some studios are very interested in the idea.”
Mr. Burke said shifting to on-demand makes sense for expanding potential viewership of first-run movies and expects television shows to eventually embrace a pure on-demand format as well.
Movie studios and television distributors have joined forces for several same-day debuts in the past, though not for major films. HDNet debuted “Bubble” in theaters, on DVD and on HDNet Movies all on the same day last January. Rainbow Media plans to premiere independent movies at New York’s IFC Center and through video-on-demand cable services.

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