CENTURY CITY and BURBANK, Calif.–Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE:FOX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today announced that Fox is withdrawing from the proposed joint venture with Disney called Movies.com.
The joint venture service, which planned to provide movies and other entertainment content on demand to consumers in the United States, was expected to be made available to consumers with access to either digital on-demand cable systems or to the broadband Internet. The partners have now chosen to pursue alternative strategies to distribute their films to the growing broadband audience.
Fox indicated that after considering the potential regulatory process and logistical issues and carefully examining technological and marketplace developments, it had determined that the joint venture was not an appropriate initiative at this time.
Disney confirmed that it will continue to own and operate the existing Movies.com Web site, already a leading movie information service offering movie reviews, trailers, listings and other content for movie fans. Disney plans to continue to license and aggregate feature film content from multiple studios to create on-demand services to be delivered through the emerging set of digital technologies, including cable, satellite, broadband internet and datacasting.
The parties expressed their mutual appreciation for the constructive working relationship they had achieved over the past two years. Fox has indicated its willingness to license its feature films non-exclusively to Disney’s distribution initiatives in these areas upon negotiation of mutually acceptable business terms.