Deadline has brought word that Walmart’s digital movie and TV library and streaming service VUDU has officially been acquired by NBCUniversal’s Fandango division.
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Originally founded in 2004, VUDU was first acquired by Walmart in 2010 and offers over 10,000 free movie and TV titles through its streaming service without a subscription while also allowing the rental of purchase of an estimated 150,000 titles, including new releases. Comcast and NBCUniversal were reportedly in talks earlier this year to acquire the service in a deal that will give the company another streaming outlet as it integrates Xumo and rolls out Peacock.
Fandango began at the start of the millennium as a movie ticketing service backed by several exhibition circuits and in the 20 years since has evolved into broader consumer territory by providing more than ticketing and movie information, having launched their own digital library FandangoNow in 2016 after acquiring streaming outlet M-Go.
The VUDU acquisition comes as NBCUniversal is looking for a new path in the wake of theatrical moviegoing being sidelined due to the global pandemic, with the entertainment division recently working with its Philadelphia colleagues for broadband and pay-per-view distribution of major films, including the recent Trolls World Tour.
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For fans wondering the future of VUDU and FandangoNow, the sites posted in an FAQ on the former that they will not be merged but will coexist for the time being as their “priority is to ensure that VUDU customers and partners are given the highest level of service during this time of transition.”