Comcast is planning to start selling films directly through its cable boxes in the US, according to reports. Comcast will offer newly released and older movies for sale as part of its cable service’s VoD menu, which now offers movies only for rental. Major film studios see electronic sales of movies as a potentially big business that could offset the huge declines in DVD sales over the past decade.
Major studios have recently started regularly offering new movies for digital purchase two weeks before they are available on DVD, in an effort to encourage online sales. Movies sold digitally are far more profitable for studios than rentals.
Aside from being the biggest pay-TV provider in the US, Comcast owns a big entertainment company, NBCUniversal, whose properties include Universal film studio, maker of movie series such as “Fast & Furious” and “Despicable Me.”
Comcast was ranked No. 1 in the $1.3 billion pay-TV VoD market in 2012, according to the NPD Group, with 28 per cent of the market.