DirecTV VOD Releases Movies 60 Days Post-Release

DirecTV started up its controversial "premium VOD" film service on April 21 with a marketing campaign for Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Just Go With It."

The plan, with the backing of four studios -- Sony, Warner, Fox and Universal -- is to release movies 60 days after their theatrical debut. It would cost consumers $29.99, significantly more than the current price tag for DVD rentals or video on demand, which start up 120 days after theatrical release, with a price tag of around $4.

Under its "Home Premiere" service, the new campaign theme line: "From the Big Screen to Your Screen. First." Messaging is airing on DirecTV's site.

The new plan has received a massive outcry from the National Association of Theater Owners, given that it would overlap the distribution of movies to theaters where typical distribution deals are for 120 days. Some theater owners have threatened to potentially cut back on in-theater trailers from some films and studios.

Analysts feel the revolutionary move could dramatically upset studio-theater owner business relations.

Movie studios have been desperate to reverse the double-digit-percentage revenue slide of the last few years over the DVD/Home Video business. In addition, the DVD sales business has been hurt by the recession and by services like Netflix and Redbox.

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