Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Disney are said to be negotiating with Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable to create a service that will bring films to cable shortly after they appear in first run at theaters.
The studios and the three MSOs – the three partners in the In Demand service – are discussing a price point of about $30, according to Bloomberg.
The notion of a premium-priced early cable window has been talked about for a while. This is one of the earliest indications that a deal might be imminent.
"There are a number of other products that we will be able to create through Internet-connected television, particularly when you consider our brand focus," Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, said at a Goldman Sachs Group conference on Sept. 21, as quoted by Bloomberg.
Theaters currently have an exclusive 120-day window for a typical film release. Theater owners are generally pushing back on the notion, insisting that any on-demand service, premium or otherwise, has to be during the traditional VOD window, which follows the DVD-release window, and thus lags the theatrical window by months.