Monday, May 14, 2007

Theater Owners Blast Comcast Movie Plan

Josh Friedman writes in The Los Angeles Times:

Comcast Corp.'s plan to show movies on its cable TV systems as soon as they open in theaters has exhibitors screaming "Cut!"

Two of the nation's biggest theater chains, Regal Entertainment Group and National Amusements Inc., said they would refuse to play films made available in the home simultaneously.

"We're not interested in playing anything that makes its debut in the home and at the theater at the same time," said Michael L. Campbell, chief executive of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal, the nation's largest chain with 6,400 screens.

Stephen Burke, Comcast's cable president and chief operating officer, told an audience at an industry conference this week that several studios were "very interested" in the idea of allowing cable providers to charge $29.95 to $49.95 to watch an opening-day movie at home. He said it would increase studio revenues rather than cannibalize them, if handled properly.

More here.


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