Comcast has moved forward with the purchase of video transactional service Vudu from Walmart.
Terms of the deal weren’t announced.
Officially, Comcast’s Fandango movie-ticket-selling business, operated through NBCUniversal, is making the purchase. Fandango previously competed in the business of renting and selling digital movie and TV shows through its four-year-old FandangoNow brand. FandangoNow was created after Fandango purchased digital movie seller M-Go from Technicolor in 2016.
In December, Fandango announced that FandangoNow had 60 million monthly visitors checking out its catalog of more than 100,000 film and television titles.
Vudu was launched back in 2004 and purchased by Walmart in 2010.
For now, Fandango said it will maintain a Vudu office in the Sunnyvale, Calif. and keep current Vudu staff in place. On its website, Vudu reassured users that their past purchases will remain safe and accessible, and existing usernames and passwords will still work.
Walmart says Vudu is available on 100 million OTT devices and that its mobile app has had more than 14 million downloads.
Walmart, which profited from the popularity of DVD and Blu-ray in the aughts, has struggled over the last few years to figure out a direction for Vudu. Over the last few years, it pondered the creation of a subscription streaming product, and it moved forward with building out an original content production arm—the remake of the 1980s Michael Keaton movie Mr. Mom was the seminal effort of that initiative.
Comcast, meanwhile, is moving fast into the digital video business, launching new SVOD platform Peacock on X1 and Flex pay TV services last week, and purchasing AVOD platform Xumo in February.
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