Everyone can breath a sigh of relief now as it appears Redbox isn’t going to have to tell every film studio take a hike with their rental deals.
Last month Redbox broke its ties with Warner Brothers Home Video after the studio attempted to extend the current 28-day delay for rental copies after retail release to 56-days. While Netflix did agree to the deal, Redbox stood it’s ground, broke off its relationship and vowed to get its rental copies through other sources.
The fear was, however, that since Warner Brothers had seen some success with its new requirements, other studios would follow suit. Many people wondered just how many of these “take-a-hike” stances Redbox could take as there will be an additional cost attached to each one. As concerns started circulating this week, Redbox parent company Coinstar took a hit on the stock market as investors started to think the DVD kiosk division could be in serious trouble.
Well, the good news is that it appears not every studio is ready to go so far with the silliness of these rental windows. Universal and Redbox have announced a new deal that will see the two companies continuing to work together under the current 28-day rental window agreement through August 2014. This takes some of the pressure off of Rebox for the time being and leaves Warner Brothers without an ally at the moment. The other major studio with a 28-day rental window is Fox, but their current contract with the kiosk company is good through April 2013.
Redbox and Universal Studios Home Entertainment Sign Multi-Year Agreement
Redbox Kiosks Nationwide Will Continue to Offer Consumers Universal Blu-ray and DVD Titles 28-Days After Retail Release
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA and OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL–(Marketwire – Mar 1, 2012) – Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR), announced the signing of a multi-year agreement that will continue to make Universal Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD titles available for rental at Redbox® locations nationwide 28 days following their home entertainment release. The announcement was made today by Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and Galen Smith, Senior Vice President, Redbox.
“The multi-year agreement between Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox represents a win for consumers, Universal and Redbox,” said Galen Smith, senior vice president, Redbox. “Redbox is committed to forging relationships that provide our consumers with affordable and timely access to new release content.”
The agreement extends the direct working relationship between Redbox and Universal Studios Home Entertainment through August 2014.
About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR), offers new-release DVD, Blu-ray Disc™ and video game rentals through its network of conveniently located, self-service kiosks. Redbox has rented more than 1.5 billion discs and is available at more than 35,400 kiosks across over 29,000 locations nationwide, including select restaurants; leading grocery, drug and convenience stores; select Walmart locations and Walgreens locations in select markets. For more information, visit www.redbox.com.
Certain statements in the foregoing paragraphs are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including phrases conveying expectation or intent and other expressions identifying future performance. The forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding Redbox’s relationship with Universal relating to, among other things, a DVD rental revenue sharing arrangement. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may vary materially from the results expressed or implied in such statements. Differences may result from actions taken by Coinstar, Redbox or Universal, including those beyond Coinstar or Redbox’s control. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the 28 day rental window, the early termination or the renegotiation on materially adverse terms of the agreement, and failure to abide by the terms and requirements of the agreement. The foregoing list of risks and uncertainties is illustrative, but by no means exhaustive. For more information on factors that may affect future performance, including our relationship with Universal, please review “Risk Factors” described in our most recent Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other filings. These forward-looking statements reflect Coinstar’s expectations as of the date hereof. Coinstar undertakes no obligation to update the information provided herein.