Tuesday, 17 March 2020 09:28

Universal to stream films on same day as theatre releases

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Universal to stream films on same day as theatre releases Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Comcast-owned media and entertainment company NBCUniversal has set in train a practice that could well mark an end to the hiatus between the release of a film in theatres and on digital media, with an announcement overnight that it would make its films available to home users on the same day as theatrical releases.

The change in policy had come about because "current circumstances have made it more challenging to view our films", NBCUniversal said in a statement, referring to the restrictions on crowds in the US as the coronavirus spreads.

Overnight, the Trump administration advised the public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and cancel discretionary travel in a bid to slow the outbreak.

DreamWorks Animation's Trolls World Tour would be the first such release by NBCUniversal and other in-release titles would be made available from as early as 20 March, the company added.

These titles would be available for a 48-hour rental from both Comcast and Sky and other partners who sell the company's on-demand offerings, at a cost of US$19.99 in the United States.

NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell said: “Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception.

"Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable.

“We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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