With both DVD sales and rentals in decline these days, Hollywood’s been looking for some good news in the struggling home video market. Last week’s FCC decision to allow studios to deliver first-run movies directly to consumers’ TVs may be seen as a ray of hope for frustrated studio execs.
Under the FCC’s waiver decision, MPAA members will be able to make movies available for home viewing much earlier than before–even on the same date as titles’ theatrical releases. By deploying “selectable output control” antipiracy technology with the films, consumers will be (presumably) incapable of copying the movies delivered to their TVs.
Bob Pisano, prexy and interim CEO of the MPAA, called the FCC’s action “a major step forward in the development of new business models by the motion picture industry to respond to growing consumer demand.” Said Pisano:
“We deeply appreciate the recognition by the FCC that recently released movies need special protection against content theft when they are distributed to home televisions,”
It’s likely that most films that are available day-and-date equipped with the new antipiracy technology will not be major blockbusters, but rather lower-profile films that the studios feel require an extra boost. Pisano recognizes the continued power of box office receipts and does not foresee this new action changing that:
“The first and best way to view movies will always be in movie theaters — and nothing can replace the pleasure this brings to millions and millions of people all across our country and the globe . . . But for those people unable to make it to the theater and interested in viewing a recently released movie, thanks to the FCC, they will now have a new option. For other consumers who prefer standard, linear, on-demand or DVD or Blu-ray options, these services will be unchanged.”
Would the ability to view a movie on your television the same day that it’s released in theaters keep you at home, Insiders? How effective against piracy do you think “selectable output control” will prove to be?