Hollywood Got The FCC To Break Your TV Because It Thought You'd Pay $30 For A PPV Movie?

from the say-what-now? dept

You may remember that earlier this year the FCC gave Hollywood the right to break your TV, by enabling "selectable output control" on your television, to keep you from actually recording certain movies or shows (um, unless, of course HDCP DRM is broken... oops). Months later, people realized that despite these urgent pleas from Hollywood, no studios had actually moved forward to offer such films in this "new window" closer to the theatrical release, but before the DVD was released.

Reader cc points out that some studios are finally interested in moving forward with such offerings, but they somehow think that people will pay $20 to $30 to view such movies. Yes, you read that right. I'm half wondering if this is really Hollywood's way of introducing this concept while trying not to piss off the theaters. They can basically say "hey, look, the only people willing to do this wouldn't pay cheaper prices to go to the flick in the theater, so they're not cannibalizing theater sales." Of course, you have to wonder if they're cannibalizing anything at such ridiculous prices.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    TPBer, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Converts

    They are going to make plenty of torrent converts though, that's gotta be worth something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Dan (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    You can't compete with......reasonably priced

    You can't compete with free....um, I mean reasonably priced. LOL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Coward (Anon), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    Depends on how you break it down

    If you are the only person watching, then $30 is insane. But if you have a family of 4 that works out to $7.50 per person which is less than movie tickets (at least here in the USA). Factor in the price difference in snacks and $30 is a bargain. But there is definitely some shock value in seeing a $30 charge for a movie. I doubt many people will see past their initial reaction. And yes, I'd guess it will drive more people to bit torrents especially since $30 and a DHCP crack will produce a perfect digital copy to upload.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Raj, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    zzzzzz

    Who cares? hollywood movies suck now anyhow. I don't want to see them in theatres, on DVD, or any other way. The only movies I've enjoyed in the past few years have been independent, outside of hollywood's influence. The product sucks so who cares about their distribution?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Chris Pratt, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Ridiculous...

    I'm convinced the people who make these decisions are all addicted to crack. Why in name of everything that is good and holy in this world would you pay $20-$30 to watch a movie once in your home when you could just wait 30 days and get rent it for $5 at Blockbuster or even cheaper from Netflix if you're willing to wait 30 days more. OR you could just wait 30 days and BUY the movie for $15-$20 and have a physical hard copy that you could watch over and over again until the end of time.

    I've never understood these outrageous pricing schemes for disposable digital media anyways. Why would I pay the same price for a digital copy of something as a physical hard copy? Not that I want another DVD on my shelf collecting dust, but at least I know that there's some inherent value in that item since it's an actual manufactured good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    30 for PPV you cant record?

    Suicide. 30 bucks for a crappy movie, or groceries, hmmm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Important to note that they're barely even "faster windows". You're paying $30 bucks to get a movie ONE MONTH before the DVD releases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    reboog711, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    That was my first thought when I heard the price too.

    But, on the other hand, If you're a family of four, or getting together with a bunch of your friends. $30 is a steal. And you don't have to deal with the horrible movie theater going experience,

    It's not uncommon for me to go to movies w/ a group of 8-10 friends. With this we could save a bundle and get a much better experience.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Foolish game

    Is this part of some elaborately idiotic plan to demonstrate that "we tried to offer a legal alternative, but people won't pay for digital copies, so we need to make it more illegal to copy"?

    I mildly see the value for families, but if you're waiting for video anyway (i.e. not concerned about seeing it when it is first out), why wouldn't you wait the extra month? If it's cheaper to *buy* the thing a bit later, I would think most cost-conscious families would go that way. Or Redbox it for $2.

    There's no way anyone could think this would actually work, do they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    Actually, they'll just push the DVD release back one month.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    Yeah, except they've said that it's not going to be contemporaneous with the theatrical release, which means $30 for something that's already out on the 2nd-run circuit for $2 per seat. Even with a family of four, there would be enough left over for like five whole ounces of popcorn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    wsuschmitt (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    It'll be great for crowds, until they put into place "viewing rules" like the NFL has in which you can only play it on a screen up until a certain size, and then after that, it is considered a public showing and then you owe the movie company more....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Treker, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    The answer is simple

    All we need is a system of government that's NOT based on bribery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    bob, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Yep

    File Lockers, Torrents, NZB, these will be the new outlet for $30 movie PPV.
    It still pisses me off that the broadcast flag is in use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    TPBer, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    Or you could just DL the same movie even faster for free. Wow what will one do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    interval, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Depends on how you break it down

    "But if you have a family of 4 that works out to $7.50 per person which is less than movie tickets (at least here in the USA). Factor in the price difference in snacks and $30 is a bargain."

    Yeah, even with your marvelous break-down, for some reason that still doesn't do it for me. Think I'll pass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    cc (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Foolish game

    If they made a "family night" type of thing that includes:

    - 2 large pizzas & bottle of coke (or beers) delivered to your door, and
    - access to a recently released PPV movie

    for $30, that would be a more reasonable deal, and one that would attract a lot more customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    $30 LoL

    I don't know who will pay that for a rental, but I am not one of them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Pete, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    I pay 7.50 a ticket on the RARE occasion that I want to see a movie in the theater, on a gigantic screen. Even if I had a 60" wide screen and 20 people over I definitely would not pay 30 bucks for PPV. I'd much rather buy the Blu-Ray.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Ridiculous...

    I know people who work in that business and they confirm that, indeed, it's primarily run by Coke Fueled Maniacs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    It's like playing the "Lemmings" game

    Ever since they installed the security cameras at the FCC headquarters, citizens don't need to watch pay TV.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Depends on how you break it down

    And we could just wait for it to come out on blu-ray and get all the goodies, and whatnot, and still pay only $30... If i buy the dvd it's even better as they are easier to rip.

    Most of the really early Torrents, are from ripping it from the theater gear, not from home. how many HDMI/DVI recorders do you know of?

    Also, i think you meant HDCP, DHCP doesn't need a crack, as it's an open way for your computer to be assigned an IP address.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Ridiculous...

    Only thing I can think of is that this would be offered ~3 months sooner than the dvd comes out. If it was $15 or $10, it would be almost an impulse thing, like going the movies was before kids. "ohh hey XYZ is showing, wanna go see it?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Narcuru (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Depends on how you break it down

    $7.50 is cheap? Where I live its 5 dollars max for any new release in a nice theater with all the normal amenities. It used to be 4 dollars for a while too but last year they raised prices it might be $6.50 for regular adults (I'm a student) but that's still cheaper than the $7.50 for four people price.

    I'd rather go to a theater and save $2.50 per person and see a new movie (ok maybe not now cause all the movies out now aren't ones that I'm interested in) than do that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    I want to live where you live. Movies haven't been less than $9 per person in any metropolitan area I've lived in in the last 3 years. 3D movies are about $16.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Eadwacer, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Maybe it's not about early release

    So, maybe that was just a smoke screen. Now they have the ability to break your set, for _any_ purpose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    The Buzz Saw (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Failure.

    $30 for a one-time viewing? And I have to provide all my own hardware? Funny how technology continues to drive costs DOWN all while costs go UP.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Coward (Anon), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    Um, yeah, HDCP. My day job seems to have taken over my fingers there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Coward (Anon), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    So we have one commenter saying $7.50 is expensive and another saying its cheap. I know that tickets in NYC are in the $12 range and are around $10 here in San Diego. Even discount Tuesdays moved from $5 to $6.50 a couple of months ago. At least those prices get you a pristine digital projection and decent (though not great) sound. Add a couple of bucks for 3D and another for D-Box (has anyone here tried D-Box seats? I'm not willing to spend the extra to find out that its just a gimmick).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Coward (Anon), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Ridiculous...

    You obviously don't have young kids. They don't want to wait. Talk all you want about parenting skills, but if they are the only kids in school who haven't seen a film, they will get ostracized.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Dave, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    So if I have a HDTV projector pointing at a 30 foot by 20 foot wall and filling the whole wall with a NFL game, with me and my G.F watching this on our sofa, we are breaking NFL rules?
    FYI - No fear NFL, I do not, will never, and hate to follow or watch any unionized sports.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    You do not want to live where he lives. He probably lives in a city with 30,000 people or so. They have to keep prices low because the population doesn't support $10 tickets. Other things the population won't support include: non-chain restaurants, plays, a downtown that the city works to keep active, etc.

    What do you do in that town? Eat at outback and go see a movie?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    And then..., Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:05pm

    In the fall of 2010 those of us who KNEW, rejoiced, for the foul denizens of the land of HOLLYWOOD had blessed us with the NEWS that their greed and hubris was without LIMIT, and surely would be their END, and that soon we would hear no further of entertainments drawn from childish stories of robots throwing buildings at other robots, and thus it was that we settled in with our snack cakes and our microwaveable popcorn and waited...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    Jeez! Matinee tickets are $10 here. $16 is the norm, +$4 for 3D.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    No, cities with a population less than 30,000 tend to support MORE non-chain restaurants, community theatre, and well-manicured public areas. Try that one again, sometime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Re: Ridiculous...

    Teach your kids why you want to wait. This is a glorious teaching opportunity for you. Tell them all about movie studio greed and why you are not just going to roll over. It is a mighty privilege and a pleasure to grow your own kids up. Your kids will respond really positively to you having a serious talk to them about this. Kids absolutely love being told how the world really works. Your "cool parent" status will be off the scale, afterwards, if you do it properly. That means no shouting, no hostility, allow enough time, no talking down, explain carefully and answer any questions from the kids honestly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Ridiculous...

    But why wait at all? For $30 you may as well go to the cinema and get the whole experience. It might cost more, but there's the experience some people like. If you don't want either, just torrent it for the cost of electricity and an internet connection ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 7:04am

    "Hollywood Got The FCC To Break Your TV....."

    My TV isn't broken. It's amazing what you can do with open-source software these days. ;D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    This supposed early release "window" was just an excuse to get the tip of the wedge in the FCC and make a crack. It won't be long before they start pounding it in deeper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    Re: The answer is simple

    How about one based on a prostitution?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    BentFranklin, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    If, say, 10 people got together to make the price reasonable, Hollywood would soon want a way to make sure those extra people were paying. If you left it up to them, Hollywood would want monitoring cameras in the TVs to make sure no one was getting a free ride.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Ridiculous...

    My kids are grow up already but if I were to teach them I would do the following.

    Give them an allowance and put a big event that cost money the exact same amount they would get having to save 50% of their allowance like a big vacation somewhere or a big event, then they will understand why people save in the first place and why money doesn't come from tree's. Of course the first year they will fail, and no trip or no show or no new game consoles or TV or whatever the second year they may fail too, but on the third they probably understand they need to sacrifice things to get other cool stuff. You don't actually need to tell them anything they will figure that out for themselves or start stilling, that is when you get to talk to them about the evils of not being honest, not learning to save and not working for what you want, in some rare instances I saw some kids that didn't have the money to do something and found a way to build something equivalent, now those kids show promises what would your kids do in that situation?

    Besides ostracism is bad why? did they loose the family?

    Many many people I know where ostracism as kids, obviously they didn't like it, but they seem to be doing ok and those experiences may have build their character, don't shield your kids from bad things, teach them to deal with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Fred, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: You can't compete with......reasonably priced

    I don't pay for movies! My local library has a great selection of new releases. I check them out for FREE!
    And legally! The studios will not be extorting extra cash from me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Geoffrey McCaleb, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 2:53am

    Limited Market

    I personally would pay this price point, but I doubt many others would.

    I live in the UK so a movie night for my wife and I would include:
    - babysitter (about $25-40)
    - parking (about $10)
    - tickets ($25)
    - Snacks ($20)

    For us, $30 would be cool to see a first run film at home. HOWEVER, did anyone notice the quote from the Bloomberg article?

    "...for as much as $30 per showing soon after they run in theaters"

    In Hollywood-speak, this means they still won't offer it anywhere close to release day so they can hold onto their opening weekend bonanza. So, if it takes 60-90 days for a first run film to make it to PPV, my bet is Hollywood will screw this up and make this type of service available around 30 days after release.

    I'd pay $30 to watch a film at home the day it comes out, 30 days later? I'll wait for a torrent or Netflix/LoveFilm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: Depends on how you break it down

    and how long before watching it with your family is a public performance?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

    NYC has a couple really cheap theaters. There is this one with 8+ screens thats 30 feet under ground. Does anyone remember the name and cross streets?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Ridiculous...

    "But why wait at all? For $30 you may as well go to the cinema and get the whole experience. It might cost more, but there's the experience some people like."

    That is the key point here. People will pay 30$ for the theater experience, The community, the shared memories, the ice cream afterwards. They won't pay for it in any serious numbers to see it on the tele at home.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Ridiculous...

    I would love for my kids to be ostracized for not seeing the latest fad.

    I would rather build a little character than get the bratz dolls or see some bad film. Being able to survive being different from the crowd is a personal strength.

    This strength can later manifest itself in the form of being comfortable and self-assured, making ones own decisions, and being less swayed by the mob. A worthy goal, and I save $30!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: The answer is simple

    Spitzer tried it. Didn't work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This