×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Comcast Cuts Sony Deal to Sell ‘House of Cards,’ Early-Release Movies

Comcast customers can now buy access to “House of Cards” season 1 through their cable set-top box and watch it across multiple devices — no Netflix subscription required.

The cable giant struck a pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, giving Comcast rights to sell the Emmy-winning first season of “House of Cards” through the recently launched Xfinity TV Store service. Netflix currently owns exclusive streaming rights to the Media Rights Capital-produced series, while Sony handles international and homevideo distribution.

Comcast’s plan to sell “HoC” season 1 — at $1.99 per episode — seems perplexing, given Netflix’s $7.99 per month price point. But it’s interesting body language from the No. 1 MSO, given Netflix’s desire to reach a deal to have its service embedded into Comcast set-tops. Meanwhile “House of Cards” first season has been available on other EST services, including Amazon and Walmart’s Vudu, also priced at $1.99 per episode for SD and $2.99 each for HD.

In addition, Comcast will add select Sony titles to its early electronic sell-through service, which offers access ahead of the traditional VOD-rental window. The first of these is “American Hustle,” to be available for rent or purchase starting Tuesday, followed by Tom Hanks-starrer “Captain Phillips” in a few weeks.

Other Sony pics and TV shows in the mix — to become available within the coming weeks — include “Breaking Bad,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “21 Jump Street.”

SEE ALSO: Comcast Beats Apple and Amazon on Digital Sales of ‘Despicable Me 2’

Meanwhile, anther popular Netflix drama original, “Orange Is the New Black,” will be hitting the Comcast Xfinity Store on May 13, through the operator’s distribution deal with Lionsgate.

Comcast’s deal with Sony was announced by Neil Smit, Comcast Cable president and CEO, at Deutsche Bank’s 2014 Media, Internet and Telecom Conference on Monday.

Comcast launched the Xfinity Store service in November with partners Universal Pictures (owned by Comcast), 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate. Cable operator touted early success of the EST service, noting it was the No. 1 digital sales partner for Universal’s “Despicable Me 2″ for the week ended Dec. 3, according to the studio.

Warner Bros. signed on as a partner for Comcast Xfinity Store two weeks ago, Smit added.

“It’s surprised us how well the product has done,” Smit said. “The value of the product is the currency… It comes out before VOD, and you don’t have to go to a laptop or a smartphone — you can order it right from your TV.”

Comcast’s launch of Xfinity Store follows Verizon’s FiOS Flex View, which has offered movies for purchase and viewable on multiple devices since late 2010.

Comcast subs who buy a TV show or movie from their set-top box or from xfinity.com/store may watch the purchased titles in multiple ways: on TV through Xfinity On Demand; on a computer from the website; or with the Xfinity On Demand Purchases app for iOS and Android.

Comcast, the biggest U.S. cable operator, had 21.7 million video subscribers as of the end of 2013. The MSO last month announced an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, a deal currently undergoing regulatory review. Comcast expects to achieve $1.5 billion in synergies by absorbing TW Cable, with 50% of that in the first year.

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein legal team

    Harvey Weinstein Loses Another Defense Lawyer

    Harvey Weinstein has lost another defense lawyer, just three months before he is set to go on trial for rape and sexual assault. Attorney Jose Baez told the judge overseeing the case that Weinstein had taken actions that made it difficult to represent him, according to a letter obtained by the New York Post. Baez [...]

  • https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/kindred_spirits_2019_v7.jpg

    Kindred Spirits Host Fundraiser for Child Refugees

    The Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees will host its third annual Kindred Spirits fundraising campaign this month on behalf of UNICEF and in coordination with World Refugee Day, which is Thursday. The grassroots, volunteer organization’s online fundraiser will take place from June 14-27, and 100% of every donation made will benefit UNICEF. “We call [...]

  • Vid Angel

    VidAngel Hit with $62.4 Million Judgment for Pirating Movies

    A jury on Monday ordered VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. for streaming hundreds of movies on its service without permission. The verdict is potentially a death blow to the Utah-based company, which sought to allow family audiences to watch Hollywood fare while skipping past violence, sex, and other objectionable [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Apologizes, Explains Opposition to LGBT Club

    Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school. In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • welcome home Apple Ad

    Cannes Lions Takes Place in Time of Change for Ad World

    The ad industry gathers June 17-21 for its annual celebration of commercials, marketing and creativity, the Cannes Lions in the French Riviera. It does so against a backdrop of ongoing and profound upheaval within the world of advertising. The share prices of all the major ad groups, such as WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are down [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content