Comcast to sell movie downloads through set-top boxes, says sources

Comcast Xfinity subscribers may have a new option to get their movie fix soon, if word from sources that spoke to Reuters pans out. Reportedly, the cable service provider plans to offer digital movie downloads and movie streaming for-pay via its set-top boxes and through Xfinity TV's website. If all goes as stated, the functionality could roll out before the end of this year.

The information comes from sources said to be "people with knowledge of the plan," and would boost the number of digital options out there for consumers to obtain legal digital copies of big-screen movies. The first round of available content — assuming the service does begin offering digital movie purchases — would include new releases, select TV shows, and older movies from multiple Hollywood studios, none of which were named.

This would augment Comcast's current rental and on-demand movie offerings, with there also being mention of streaming joining alongside digital movie purchases. The streaming wasn't detailed, however, but it seems it would be different from limited movie viewing times, which would fall under the "rental" category. Rather, it could perhaps mean some sort of Netflix and Redbox Instant equivalent.

This follows some recent news regarding Netflix and some near and distant industry shakeups it could have in store. Word surfaced this week that a proposal is in negotiations with Netflix regarding theatrical miniseries movies that would stream exclusively through Netflix a few weeks after launching in theaters. Netflix has also made known an idea being tossed around regarding streaming a big movie the same day that it launches in theaters.

SOURCE: Reuters