Disney puts MovieBeam on ice

No video service yet from Disney. Good idea, but risky move.

Check out Stefanie Olsen's scoop on Disney delaying MovieBeam, its digital video service. MovieBeam broadcasts data signals to a set-top box that stores films on a hard drive. Users can then watch the movie when they want after paying between $1.99 and $3.99 for the work.

Disney prides itself as the world's most powerful content provider. While it can count on ABC to broadcast its wares into homes, Disney remains fearful of being shut out of digital distribution. Just look at how hard the company pushed to throw a monkey wrench into the proposed America Online-Time Warner merger. Disney feared that it'd get locked out of the company's cable and Internet pipes if negotiations for carriage went awry.

MovieBeam sounds like a great idea, but cable and satellite providers hold the keys to digital distribution.

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