Sony Opens "The Interview' to Cable, Satellite, Telco Outlets

A week after its digital bow on a handful of outlets, Sony Pictures Entertainment has reached agreements with InDemand and other on-demand outlets, to open viewing of its controversial comedy, The Interview, to cable, satellite and telco video subscribers.

The film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that ran afoul of sensibilities of North Korea and skunked its planned wide release on Christmas Day, will be available through In Demand affiliates, including owners, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communicaitons and Bright House Networks.

The movie centers on the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un

The Interview also will or has already become accessible to Vubiquity affiliates, including Charter Communications, Cablevision and AT&T U-verse, as well as Verizon FiOS and DirecTV. Vudu, Walmart's digital VOD service, has also reached a pact to offer the film, and it will be accessible via the PlayStation Network on New Year's Day.

The film will be made available through their VOD and pay-per-view services from $5.99, starting as early as today, and is scheduled to roll out in different markets through the weekend. Customers of Vudu and Verizon have the option to buy a digital version of the film in addition to the VOD rental. 

Financial terms and splits were not disclosed.

“We have always sought the widest possible distribution for The Interview, and want to thank our new partners for helping us make that happen,” said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment, in a statement on New Year's Eve.

Bowing to threats of violence against theaters and potential patrons and caught amidst the hacking scandal that embarassed the studio, the movie became available online through Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and iTunes and the dedicated website on Christmas Eve.

The film opened to some 300 theaters on Christmas Day, a far cry from the 2,500 or more that were expected to be in play before things ran afoul.

On Friday, Jan. 2, the number of U.S. independent theaters showing the film will increase to over 580, according to Sony.

Initially, the studio shelved the film in the wake of a cyber attack and threats by hackers that the FBI confirmed to be connected to the North Korean dictatorship.  Subsequently, the New York Postand others news outlets are reporting that the cyber corruption may have emanated from a Sony insider.