Seriously? $30 to watch a movie on cable before DVD release?

The movie industry continues to display just how badly they do not understand the changing media landscape.

Their newest plan according to a report in Bloomberg today is that Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and Disney want to charge you $20 to $30 buck to watch a movie on your television before the release of the same movie DVD.

Calling it a premium service would let you watch movies at home long before the typical three to four month release window for DVD or first-run on cable.

“I think there are a number of other products that we will be able to create through Internet-connected television, particularly when you consider our brand focus,” Robert Iger, CEO of Burbank, California-based Disney said at a Goldman Sachs Groups Inc. conference on Sept. 21.

Sony Corp. tested the market with users of its Bravia TV by offering the Will Smith movie “Hancock” in 2008 and the animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in 2009 for $24.95. The Tokyo-based owner of Sony Pictures hasn’t announced plans for another movie through its TV sets.

Time Warner Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Martin told the Goldman Sachs conference in New York last week that the company’s Warner Bros. studio expects to begin tests on the service later this year. He said he expected the offering to be priced at $20 to $30 per viewing.


I’m not sure exactly what makes movie companies think that I am going to be willing to fork over $30 for a movie that I wouldn’t even pay to go to see in the theater, never mine buy a DVD for or pay some cable company to watch “on-demand”.

The fact is that maybe, just maybe, three or four movies a year are worth paying to see but if that is the case then I want to pay to see them in a theater, in all their glory, and not on some 32″ or 42″ LCD screen in my living room – that’s for watch re-runs or Netflix on, not paying $30 to watch a movie on.