Rupert Murdoch vs. Wal-Mart

Ed Bott: Rupert Murdoch vs. Wal-Mart Ed Bott has a post out this morning on an article appearing over at Slate that Rupert Murdoch is planning on giving away 20 million DVRs. These DVRs would have hidden storage space where DirecTV would store HD movies on your PVR for later viewing in an attempt to go after the DVD market.

In the article it references that apparently Wal Mart has incredible clout with the studis and have a first 45 day release rule with the studios to prevent them from releasing any electronic versions within the first 45 days of DVD release.

“What has prevented the studios from closing the video window is, as a top Viacom executive explains, “In one word: Wal-Mart.” Wal-Mart, the single biggest seller of DVDs, does not want to compete with home delivery. The company told Viacom’s home-entertainment division, in no uncertain terms, that if any studio does away with the 45-day video window for a single title, they would risk losing access to Wal-Mart’s incredibly valuable shelf space for all of its DVDs. In the face of Wal-Mart’s retail power (the antitrust term for it is monopsony) the studios have kept the window wide open.”

Shouldn’t TiVo and Microsoft be working on things like this as well?