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April 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cable provider Comcast and satellite service DirecTV have signed deals with three major studios allowing them to offer movies on demand on the same day they go on sale — in other words, four weeks ahead of Netflix and Redbox. The movies, from Universal, Warner Bros. and Fox, will be available for about $4.99 and can be viewed for 48 hours after the transaction is completed via the TV remote. The service is expected to launch next month. The deal is similar to the one already struck with Blockbuster’s on-demand service that operates over the Internet. Comcast is the largest cable provider, with about 24 million subscribers; DirecTV has 18 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Daily Variety reported today (Wednesday) that former News Corp President Peter Chernin is teaming up with Microsoft to develop a movie channel that would be available exclusively to subscribers of Microsoft’s Xbox Live.