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DirecTV, Cablevision's Upcoming Home Entertainment Options Face Backlash

family watching tv
family watching tv

The battle for your home entertainment dollars is heating up.

Now cable and satellite TV companies are moving forward with plans to give consumers even more control over how and when they access entertainment as they look to keep subscribers from "cutting the cord."

DirecTV is finalizing deals with studios including Warner Brothers , 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures Entertainment to offer "Premium Video-on-Demand," charging $30 to rent a movie as soon as 60 days after it hits theaters. DirecTV says nothing is final, they're still in talks with various parties. But sources close to the negotiations tell me this offer is likely to roll out as early as late April.

Sources I've spoken to across the Hollywood studios stress that when they do launch Premium VOD they plan to be very flexible about which films they offer early, and how early they offer them. I've heard repeatedly that the studios understand that it's in their best interest to work with the movie theaters to project their theatrical run.

But theater owners are not so sanguine.

Today the National Association of Theater Owners Shot back, saying in a statement: "These plans fundamentally alter the economic relationship between exhibitors, filmmakers and producers, and the studios taking part in this misguided venture. "

Meanwhile Cablevision is moving forward with its iPad app, to stream virtually everything on its system to its three million subscribers iPads, as long as they're in their homes. The company will launch the app as soon as it gets approval from Apple, which sources tell me could be any day now. Cablevision plans to include nearly every channel it sends to subscribers TV sets as well as video-on-demand.

That's more content than Time Warner Cable's app offered. And Time Warner Cable drew so much backlash from content creators for its app, just this afternoon it announced it's pulling Discovery , Fox, and Viacom's content while it pursues its legal rights to stream that programming.

In this fight for home entertainment dollars the stakes are high, and both content distributors and creators are willing to do what it takes to grow their piece of the ever growing digital pie.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.