TW Cable adds on-demand films

Subscribers pay $1.95 per title

Time Warner Cable will beef up its movies-on-demand service by purchasing up to 1,000 library titles from the major studios over the next few months.

Dubbing the service “More Movies On Demand,” TW Cable, through In Demand Networks, has begun funneling movies to digital subscribers to its Greensboro, N.C., systems.

The initial titles include “Die Hard” and its two sequels, the five “Rocky” movies, “Predator,” “Predator 2” and the three “Rugrats” movies.

Subs pony up $1.95 for each title.

The only major studios that haven’t sold library movies to TW Cable are Disney and Sony.

On the heels of the North Carolina trial, Time Warner Cable plans to roll out the service to its systems throughout the country over the next few years.

“One of our goals is to trump the satellite distributors and the homevideo stores,” said Bob Benya, senior veep of VOD and ITV product development. Their technology doesn’t permit DirecTV and EchoStar to offer pay-per-view, said Benya, adding that lots of library product will help TW Cable “mimic a videostore with shelves of titles.”

Like a vidstore, TW Cable will create categories for titles under the “Classic Movies” banner, ranging from comedy and drama to action and sci-fi. Under “Family Movies,” the genres will include Barbie, big hits and fantasy.

David Asch, senior VP of programming for In Demand Networks, which is negotiating the deals for TW Cable, said the library titles will supplement the fresh VOD pay-per-view movies that cost $3.95 apiece and the dozens of VOD movies that come, in most markets, with a subscription to pay services such as HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax.

Benya said by mid-2007, a lavish marketing campaign will trumpet the fact that Greensboro’s digital customers will have access to up to 2,000 movies across all of these platforms.