Blockbuster logoWith the brick-and-mortar DVD-rental business totally in the tank, Comcast has decided that this the perfect time to try to do something about the 30-60 day lag between when movies are released for home use and when they can show up on pay-per-view. Since that window was created to ensure income to rental businesses that are rapidly becoming irrelevant, Comcast is approaching studios with an alternative.

Under Comcast's proposed system, the day a film was released on DVD, it would also show up in a video-on-demand menu for Comcast digital subscribers. By selecting the film, viewers would get both an immediate one-time viewing of the film, and a conventional DVD, which would arrive through the mail. The total purchase price would be about $17, and the viewer would get the best of both worlds: the instant gratification of PPV combined with the (slightly-delayed) permanence of owning the DVD.

While my understanding of the business side of movies is tenuous at best, this certainly would be a way for cable companies to convert PPV from the refuge of the insanely lazy into an extremely relevant technology. From the studio perspective, since Comcast is currently offering them up to 80% of each $17 fee, it sounds like money in the bank. It'll be interesting to see if anything comes of this idea - either way, kudos to Comcast for trying to think outside of the box.
categories Movies, Cinematical