Beginning today, Comcast and Cablevision will give indie filmmakers help in reaching audiences outside of the usual Manhattan, LA and college town ghettos. But at the same time I wonder if this could truly kill the art houses. The cable behemoths are the first to offer a video on demand service from IFC Theaters that makes it possible for subscribers to watch indie films in high-def on the same day they appear in movie theaters. Viewers can even get the films in HD. Comcast charges $7.99, a buck more than the price for standard def. Cablevision charges $6.95 for either format. That’s no surprise: the company owns Rainbow Media, which owns IFC – and Cablevision is engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Verizon for video customers on Long Island, the outer boroughs of NYC, and southern Connecticut. Anyway, I’d like to think the extra distribution may make it easier for indie producers to scare up investment cash.
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