UPDATE, 1:45 PM: Redbox just issued this statement about the alleged deal. “The current agreement Coinstar has with Warner Bros. is to receive movie titles 28-days after their release. No revised agreements are in place.”
PREVIOUS, 12:03 PM: Warner Bros has sealed a deal with Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster that will expand the studio’s release window for new DVDs to 56 days, the tech blog AllThingsD is reporting. The current window is 28 days between when the discs first go on sale and when customers can rent from the retailers. Warner Bros is saying it isn’t going to comment on speculation, but it has been exploring seeking wider window in an effort to offset declining DVD sales, and it is pushing the nascent UltraViolet format that allows users to rent or buy movies that can be viewed on multiple platforms. (The company said during the Citibank conference yesterday that UltraViolet, which is available via the company’s recently acquired Flixster site, is still in the growing stages. “The product is not where we want it to be, but someone has to take a leadership position,” CFO John Martin says.) The latest report says the deal for the new window is expected to be unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show, which begins Monday in Las Vegas. The question that remains, though, is what’s stopping retailers from buying discs on the open market and making them available day-and-date, which has been a common practice in the past? Stay tuned.