- Associated Press - Thursday, August 5, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Media executives are split on what to do about flagging DVD sales.

This week, Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said deals with Netflix Inc. and Redbox that postpone rentals of new releases for 28 days have helped drive more lucrative retail sales for its Warner Bros. movie studio.

But Viacom Inc. CEO Philippe Dauman doesn’t buy it. In a conference call with analysts Thursday, Dauman said the arrangement between Redbox and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures film studio is a better deal. In a 10-month test, Paramount has allowed Redbox to offer new releases the same day they go on sale in exchange for higher fees upfront.

QUESTION: On your deal with Redbox, I was wondering if you could comment a little bit on the data that you have obviously seen in terms of the impact of your window on DVD sales.

ANSWER: Unlike some of our competitors who were in litigation with Redbox, we had an agreement that gave us actual data over a 10-month period. So we had objective information.

That data showed us that there was extremely little degradation in DVD sales, and the financial terms offered by Redbox for an earlier window far outweighed that degradation.

Our competitors who have the 28-day window are getting much lower pricing in their Redbox deal. So thanks to our actually having real-world data, unlike our competitors, we were able to make what we think is the best decision for us.

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