Faced with a 32-percent drop in shipments of DVDs during the fourth quarter of last year, the media conglomerates that own four studios may wind up writing down the value of their movies, Bloomberg News reported late Friday, citing several entertainment analysts. The drop was the biggest ever, the wire service said. As a result of competition from rental services like Netflix and other online video sites, "making a movie just won't be as profitable as it once was," Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente told Bloomberg News. Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co told the wire service that an additional 11 percent downturn in DVD sales could cause the conglomerates -- Time Warner, Disney, Viacom and News Corp -- to miss internal forecasts. DiClemente said that sales of Blu-ray high-definition disks won't offset the drop in DVD sales. "We don't think Blu-ray is the savior," He added "Investing in Blu-ray, especially in the teeth of a recession, isn't what the consumer wants."

02/02/2009