Report: Apple & Comcast in talks w/ studios for $30 to $50 movie rentals weeks after theater release

Apple is in talks with major movie studios alongside Comcast for a service that would make digital movie rentals available for new releases just weeks after hitting theaters, according to a new report from Bloomberg detailing the negotiations.

The studios involved in the talks with Apple and Comcast include Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, but so far the companies have been “unable to arrive at a mutually beneficial way to create a $30 to $50 premium movie-download product,” the report notes:

Yet the talks continue. The terms being discussed vary between each studio and each cinema chain, with some talks focusing on a release date of about 17 days after debut, for about $50, or four to six weeks from release for $30, people familiar with the talks said. Another possibility is first experimenting with a new release window overseas before trying it in the U.S., which is the biggest home-entertainment market, one of the people said.

Despite ongoing negotiations, the report adds that deals with distribution partners like Apple could be reached as soon as early next year for such a service.

Deals with potential distributors such as Apple and Comcast could be reached as soon as early next year to sell digital downloads of major films as soon as two weeks after they debut in theaters, the people said. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable provider, is also the owner of Universal Pictures.

Some studios like Disney aren’t interested in being involved in the project, according to the report. Lions Gate Entertainment, on the other hand, told Bloomberg they expect to see this type of service “introduced in the next 12 months.”

The report is the latest detailing Apple’s behind the scenes effort at building a new paid video service, but it’s unclear how these movie rentals could play into Apple’s other reported negotiations for premium TV bundles and a subscription video service.

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