With Comcast rumored to make a majority-share acquisition of NBC Universal, we may soon be seeing Video On Demand presence of new movies before a DVD or Blu-ray release.
The deal seems likely, and reports state that if it were to take place, Comcast and NBC would form a new media group, encompassing Universal Pictures, Universal Studios, NBC television, Hulu.com and cable channels such as Bravo, E!, and USA.
Michael Nathanson, analyst with Sanford Bernstein, says that Comcast could easily use its clout to move high definition Video On Demand availability up to precede physical media releases. “Charge consumers $7 to $10 per title for the exclusive right to watch a film in HD on their couches without having to drive to Blockbuster or a Redbox kiosk” he states, “No doubt, Warner Bros., and maybe Fox, will follow.”
Nathanson suspects that this would be an excellent way to offset the dollar-a-night rentals offered by Redbox. Allowing consumers early access in high definition at an appropriate price could make DVD rental obsolete for many users.
Source: Home Media Magazine