updated 11:59 am EST, Fri November 15, 2013
Cable company could offer movie purchases shortly after theatre run
Comcast could allow its subscribers to buy movies on their cable boxes, according to recent reports. The cable company is claimed by unnamed sources to be preparing to offer customers the service, via set-top boxes and through the browser via the Xfinity TV website, with the possibility that it will launch before the end of this year.
Sources of Reuters claim that the initial offering would include movies from multiple Hollywood studios, with older movies and TV shows interspersed with new releases. It is suggested that movies could appear on the service shortly after exiting theaters, and would help movie studios regain revenues lost from an apparent reduction in DVD purchases.
Comcast currently provides on-demand rentals for movies as both free and time-limited rentals, with movie sales effectively becoming a long-term rental for an item. It is not clear if the customers will be able to receive their purchases as downloads, for viewing on other media, if they decide to no longer be a subscriber to Comcast's services.
The company is also reported to be in talks with Netflix about adding the streaming movie and TV service to its set-top boxes, in a similar manner to Virgin Media in the United Kingdom.