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Original TV Flicks Get VOD Premieres

New York -- RHI Entertainment said it has agreements to distribute original movies premiering on pay video-on-demand services on Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cablevision and Cox.

The offering’s already “soft launched” on Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Cablevision, showing such action-oriented flicks as Black Friday (with Judd Nelson), Maneater (with Gary Busey) and The Sitter (with Gail O’Grady), RHI said. Titles still to come include Crash and Burn (Michael Madsen), The Hive (Tom Wopat) around Halloween and Primal Doubt (Janine Turner and Costas Mandylor)

Time Warner charges $3.99 for SD movies and $4.99 for HD versions, while Cablevision is charging $4.95 per title, RHI said.

Cox is expected to add the service in mid September and RHI said it’s in talks to add distribution from Comcast, the top U.S. cable operator, later this year.

After a 90-day airing on VOD, rights to air the movies shift to either Sci Fi Channel, Lifetime TV or Spike TV, depending on the title.

RHI, a TV-movie factory founded by Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr., said it would distribute 24 titles in the first year, premiering two per month, and that cable customers could choose among six pay titles at any given time.

RHI also claimed it would become the first studio to produce and offer movies in high-definition and standard-definition formats for VOD premieres.

RHI also is offering family titles such as Alice in Wonderland and Captains Courageous for free VOD movie categories.

USA Today reported the deal Monday.