NBC In 99-Cent VOD Pact With DirecTV; So Does CBS With Comcast

Updated: read below: Two major deals in the VOD space:

NBC-DirecTV: This is a biggie for satellite TV, and hopefully opening-of-mind for NBC: NBC Universal has tied up with DirecTV to make some of its broadcast and cable shows available within 24 hours after they air for 99 cents per episode. The shows, which will be commercial-free, will include such highly rated programs as “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Monk.” They will be available through DirecTV’s new digital-video recorder, the DirecTV Plus DVR. The DirecTV Plus device will appear on store shelves later this month.

VOD hasn’t been typically been seen as something satellite providers could exploit to the same degree as cable operators, because satellite has far less bandwidth. Monday’s announcement shows how satellite companies might work around that situation. This also continues DirecTV’s steps in digital media and original programming. More details in the release here….

WSJ: The new recorder will have 160 hours of recording capacity, but only 100 hours are available for consumers to use. The other space will be used to store about five hours a week of NBC prime-time shows and other programming that DirecTV sends down from its satellites — which customers then will pay a fee to access.

Related: DirecTV’s TV to Devices Push; Music Synergy With MySpace

Comcast-CBS: CBS will make four of the network’s shows — “CSI,” “Survivor,” “NCIS,” and “Amazing Race” — available on Comcast VOD for 99 cents per 24-hour window for each show. Viewers who buy the shows will be able to fast forward through commercials, but will not be able to auto skip them. CBS is the first broadcast TV network to make its highest rated, scripted, primetime programming available on a VOD basis.

Updated: WSJ: These deals were crafted to minimize the damage to Hollywood’s existing business. For instance, the CBS shows will only be available to Comcast digital cable customers in markets served by one of CBS’s 17 owned-and-operated TV stations.

Even the per-episode fee was an important concession to Hollywood. Comcast, the biggest proponent of on-demand services, has pushed to make most on-demand offerings available for free as a way to attract audiences. But network executives, keen to offset the financial impact on their existing businesses, want to charge for on-demand viewings.

Comments have been disabled for this post