Warner Bros is to offer movies via cable television in China, following a deal between the studio and pay-per-view platform You On Demand Media.
The first titles will be screened this summer through pay-per-view and on-demand services, and will include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. At the time of launch You On Demand will be available in three million cable TV homes. Warner Bros' ultimate goal is to reach 200 million households in China.
You On Demand has 20-year joint venture partnership with Central China Television's pay television arm, China Home Cinema. A spokesman said that You On Demand is in conversations with a number of cable operators.
"China is developing methods for consumers to view movies outside the cinema in a legitimate fashion," said Jim Wuthrich, president of International Home Video and Digitial distribution for Warner Bros.
The agreement makes Warner the first Hollywood studio to offer films in such a way in China, where foreign media conglomerates have not been granted broadcast TV licences.