El Segundo, Calif. -- In a first for pay-per-view
programming, DirecTV Inc. will distribute PPV movies from New Line Cinema to consumers in
high-definition television beginning this spring.
The deal marks the first time that a major motion-picture
studio has committed to licensing movie titles for distribution to consumers in HDTV
format within the traditional PPV window, according to officials of both companies.
New Line will provide DirecTv with the HDTV master tapes.
Movies in the package include Pleasantville, Living Out Loud and American
While HDTV is considered by many to be the future of
television viewing, few consumers today can afford the high cost of purchasing HDTV sets.
Nevertheless, Richard Goldberg, vice president of programming acquisition for DirecTV,
said the deal will provide programming for those who can access the format.
"Consumers who are investing in new HDTV equipment
will now have available to them some of the best movies that Hollywood has to offer, in a
viewing window that precedes premium-cable channels," Goldberg said in a prepared
It is unclear, however, how many additional studios will
offer HDTV movies within the traditional PPV format. Some studios are worried about
security problems with HDTV films over cable because of the higher quality of their