HD DVD camp in $150m Paramount bribe

HD DVD exclusivity comes at a hefty price

It was announced late yesterday that Paramount and its Dreamworks Animation arm were ditching the Blu-ray disc format in favour of going HD DVD exclusive. But now it seems that the HD DVD camp may have bribed Paramount to the tune of $150m to make the deal happen.

Deadline Hollywood Daily says of the deal: "Note how there's no mention of the money Paramount (I'm told $50 million) and DreamWorks Animation (I'm told $100 million) is receiving for 'promotional consideration' from the HD DVD side to continue with what is widely recognised as the losing high-def format."

Gizmodo put the bribery claims to Paramount and the Toshiba-led HD DVD camp, and received this response: "Whenever we conduct co-marketing, production deals or other agreements, we never discuss business terms."

So that's not a denial then. It just goes to show the amount of money that's involved in the HD format war. That one side can afford to throw $150m at a company for its support indicates the kind of stakes involved.

Format wars: what's the outcome?

Neither side wants to lose this format war, so instead of one withdrawing and admitting defeat, it seems much more likely that both formats will exist side-by-side for some time to come.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reviews Editor

James (Twitter, ) oversees the reviews we publish on the site and also edits the TV, AV, Gaming, Car Tech and Gadgets channels. He's been in the field for 13 years, and travels all over the world to attend tech shows, product launches and cult gatherings. James' opinions have been inflicted on audiences of BBC TV, Radio 5 Live, The Guardian, local radio and various magazines and he's a grizzled veteran of most tech shows but will never again to return to CeBIT (no means no).