Friday, September 4, 2015

Hollywood convergence in Comcast, Netflix deals

Netflix in deal to show Epix movies; Comcast in deal to sell through Blockbuster stores

Hollywood convergence in Comcast, Netflix deals

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The video-rental and online-movie businesses are converging, from both ends, as the middlemen who stand between Hollywood and movie-watchers cut deals:

1) Netflix's deal with Epix, the joint-venture movie-distribution channel run by studios Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, to distribute some movies online "is a long-term positive" for home-movie-mailer Netflix - but it will need to lure millions of new subscribers (or boost prices or cut costs) to make it worth the "close to" $200 million a year the Los Angeles Times reported Netflix is paying Epix, writes Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible in a report to clients today.

Won't that make Netflix an even more effective competitor (at $10 a month) vs. cable TV? No: The studios that own Epix don't want "to cut off their disc dollars," so they'll make sure Netflix customers "have to wait 90 days after movies debut on Epix [and cable] before they can get them over the Web," notes MediaMemo's Peter Kafka here.

2) Comcast's deal, to give its customers dollar-a-DVD discounts at ailing video-rental chain Blockbuster, will also open 1,500 Blockbuster stores in Comcast territories to Comcast retail sales promos, so Comcast can "market our triple play" video-phone-Internet services to Blockbuster customers, writes Comcast vice president Eric Budin in this blog post. - More from Wall St Journal here

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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