Comcast Signs Sony EST Pact

Comcast Cable president and CEO Neil Smit said at an industry conference Monday that the cable giant has signed an electronic sell-through (EST) deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, a pact that will allow Comcast customers to purchase the first season of popular series House of Cards and early release movies via their set-top boxes.

Smit made the announcement at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom conference in Palm Beach, Fla. The Sony deal, which includes current movies like American Hustle and Captain Philips, complements existing EST agreements the cable giant has with Lionsgate Entertainment (for movies and series like season one of Orange is the New Black), Twenty-First Century Fox and sister company NBCUniversal. Comcast has said in the past it has had considerable success in electronic sell-through with movies like Despicable Me 2Fast and Furious 6 and The Hunger Games.

At the DB conference, Smit said the value of EST is in its currency—the movies are available after their release in theaters but "several weeks" before the traditional VOD window—and the convenience of ordering through their remote controls.

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