Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) have been trying for ages to get earlier release windows for first-run movies for video-on-demand; they might be on the cusp of achieving that if they agree to a tiered pricing structure.
Hollywood studios and MVPDs are discussing a $50 fee after a 30-day window for new film releases, dropping their price to about $25 per movie after 60 days, according to an unconfirmed report from Reuters.
The report names Time Warner Cable and DirecTV as being involved in negotiations. The sides are said to be close to a deal, with a trial run coming as early as this fall.
Theater owners wish to retain their lock on first-run features, but networks, video rental operations, cable networks and MVPDs (with pay-per-view and VOD) have all been trying to compress the schedules and, if possible, leapfrog each other for earlier access to films.
Netflix recently struck a deal to stream new films from three studios that own the Epix pay TV channel about 90 days after their premium pay-TV debuts, which generally come about four months after their theatrical release, Reuters notes.