updated 01:50 pm EST, Tue December 19, 2006
Comcast VOD Same as DVD
Comcast has taken the potentially controversial step of carrying movies through its on-demand service at the same time as DVDs for the same titles reach the stores, according to the New York Times. The pilot project will initially see Denver and Pittsburgh cable subscribers given the choice of watching new releases at a price of $4 per showing, roughly matching the price of a new rental at video stores but avoiding the weeks-long gap between DVD and VOD releases that normally discourages widespread use of on-demand video.
The trial run may be an essential move for Comcast and other media giants, which hope to encourage the idea of paid on-demand movies as Internet-based TV threatens the longstanding concept of TV channels. Blockbuster and other retail stores are understandably hesitant, the Times' Geraldine Fabrikant writes. "[Comcast] will be very cautious in introducing any new less profitable service that could be cannibalistic," a Blockbuster spokesman said.