DirecTV won't show 'The Interview,' others won't say

Sony says VOD providers are unwilling to carry the movie

DirecTV, the biggest satellite TV operator in the U.S., says it won't be offering "The Interview" to its customers.

The movie was pulled from theatrical release last week by Sony Pictures after threats that followed a massive hack and the release of sensitive and embarrassing corporate documents. Sony's action has been widely criticized by free-speech advocates, Hollywood film-makers and President Obama, but Sony says it had no choice after movie theater chains got cold feet about showing the film.

In a TV interview with CNN on Friday, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said the company is now looking to video-on-demand services, but none are willing to touch the movie.

"As it stands right now, while there have been a number of suggestions that we go out there and deliver this movie digitally or through VOD, there has not been one major VOD, video on demand, distributor or one major e-commerce site that stepped up and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us," Lynton told CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Asked if they were in principle open to offering the movie, Time Warner Cable and Dish Network declined to comment, but DirecTV was clear about its decision.

"DirecTV will not be offering the movie," said Darris Gringeri, a DirecTV spokesman, via email.

Netflix avoided the question and said, "We are approached on virtually every unconventional release by the networks and studios and, as a matter of course, don't discuss publicly the pitches, concepts or ideas that come our way."

Apple, Amazon and Comcast did not respond to several requests for comment.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, President Obama said the decision to cancel release of the movie was "a mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," he said. "Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don't like, or news reports that they don't like."

"Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. So that's not who we are," he said. "That's not what America is about."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesDISH Networktime warnerSony PicturesnetflixinternetvideoDirecTV

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?