“Some days you just wonder if entertainment execs wake up in the morning planning to shoot themselves in their collective foot. The latest display of entertainment exec short-sightedness is that the Hollywood Studios have apparently forced both the Apple iTunes store and Netflix’s download store to remove certain movies just as they’re getting close to being available for TV,” Mike Masnick writes for TechDirt.
“As you probably already know, Hollywood makes a lot of money through a ‘windowing’ system, where they release movies in different formats at different times: theaters, special locations (airplanes, hotels), DVD, cable and finally network TV. Of course, they’re working on adding some more tiers to this as well, but apparently they convinced these online download stores that they need to kill certain movies as the timing reaches where the movies can appear on TV,” Masnick writes.
“The studios’ myopic reasoning is that TV broadcasters pay a lot of money for those rights, and they don’t want to piss them off… This makes no sense. The movies are already released on DVD and the studios don’t prevent Blockbuster or Netflix from offering the physical DVD for rent, so why do that with the download version? If people really want to download these movies, they’re more likely to just go get them from an unauthorized site, rather than bother to watch the network broadcast version,” Masnick writes.
Full article here.
Masnick gives Hollywood way too much credit. It’s quite likely they haven’t even thought about the issue at all.