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Update on Comcast’s Idea to Deliver New Movies Along With Cinemas

Predictably, the cinema companies are not so hot on Comcast’s idea of premiering movies on their cable system simultaneous to their cinema premieres.  More surprisingly, though, Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has speculated about multi-platform releases before, expressed opposition to the idea, and now Viacom (Paramount, Dreamworks, MTV, etc.) has also expressed opposition.

Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said on Monday his company has no plans to allow cable operators to air its movies on the same day of their release at theaters.

Dauman, speaking at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York, said there was little chance of his company giving up the traditional "window" between the theatrical release and cable television airing.

Viacom, with Comcast, is testing movies-on-demand premiering the same day as their release on DVD, so  same-day-as-cinema is outside of their thinking right now.

Dauman said Viacom is half-way through a test with Comcast Corp., the No. 1 U.S. cable operator, on the impact of offering movies on-demand on the same day of its release on DVD in limited trials.

Though it was too early to draw conclusions, there had been no impact on DVD sales or rentals in the two Comcast test markets of Denver and Pittsburgh, he said.