Kiosks must wait on new WB releases

Company's move will cut out wholesalers

Warner Home Video said it will make Redbox and other kiosk operators wait 28 days for its new releases, and Netflix must wait too -- unless it agrees to rental-share agreements.

The stand WHV is taking with the dollar-rental companies is similar to the one taken by Universal and Fox that prompted Redbox to sue them. As of Thursday, Redbox hadn't filed suit against Warners.

The move by WHV to ring more coin out of Netflix and other DVD-by-mail services, though, is unique. The changes will take effect beginning in October, when WHV said it "will engage solely in direct relationships with kiosk and mail-order subscription vendors," cutting out wholesalers.

While the kiosks will have to wait 28 days whether they purchase DVDs or engage in revenue-share arrangements, by-mail services will have the option of waiting 28 days or offering the movies to their subscribers at their initial release -- but only on a revenue-share basis.

"WHV will be in discussions with both kiosk and mail-order subscription vendors, offering business options that will allow all parties to grow their respective businesses," WHV said.

WHV also said it revised wholesaler terms to prohibit the purchase and sale of previously viewed product.

The hard line drawn by Warners, Fox and Universal in regard to Redbox is in contrast to tactics taken by Sony and Lionsgate, each of whom stuck recent deals to supply Redbox with DVDs the same time they go to retail outlets. Disney, while being less forthcoming, is believed to be in a similar camp.