How Disney Could Upsell Subscribers to Alternate Content

Walt Disney Co. could use platforms ranging iTunes to Xfinity On Demand to “up-sell” viewers to alternate content, including “uncensored, unedited, advertisement-free, and/or otherwise unaltered programming,” according to a patent application obtained by The Donohue Report.

“The media content can be obtained in a dynamic or ‘on-the-fly’ manner,” Disney states in the patent application, citing director’s cut versions and extended versions of a program as examples of alternate content.

Disney also notes that its KeyChest digital rights system could be used to protect content sold through third-party distributors such as Apple and Comcast.

“The VOD technology used by Comcast can be adapted in accordance with various embodiments to provide the ability to purchase or rent alternative versions of media content,” Disney states in the patent application.

Disney already uses KeyChest to power its Disney Movies Anywhere product, which it launched with Apple in 2014.

Josiah Eatedali, director of digital distribution at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, is named as lead inventor on the patent application, titled, “Purchasing and viewing content based on a linear broadcast.”

Abstract: Systems and methods for obtaining alternative versions of media content are provided. Digital purchasing technology can be integrated with content viewing technology to provide dynamic content discovery and the ability to easily and efficiently obtain alternative media content to enhance a user’s viewing experience. Additionally, a user’s viewing experience can be upgraded by easily and efficiently allowing for the viewing of previously obtained alternative media content.

Patent Application

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Claims:

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising: during a broadcast of media content to a user device, presenting at least one option to a user to experience an original, unedited version of the broadcast media content; and upon selection of the at least one option, presenting the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content to the user device.

2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the media content broadcast to the user device comprises an altered version of the broadcast media content comporting with at least one of broadcasting timing requirements and broadcasting censorship requirements.

3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content comprises a different version of the media content.

4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content comprises at least one of a prequel to the broadcast media content, a sequel to the broadcast media content, an enhanced version of the broadcast media content, and additional media content that is related to the broadcast media content.

5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the at least one option presented to the user to experience the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content comprises an option to at least one of purchase the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content, rent the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content, and consume a previously obtained original, unedited version of the broadcast media content.

6. The computer-implemented method of claim 5, wherein at least one of the purchase and rental of the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content comprises a transaction completed between a content provider of the broadcast media content broadcast to the user device and a third-party distributor of the alternative version of the broadcast media content.

7. The computer-implemented method of claim 6, wherein the presentation of the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content is enabled via a digital media content access authorization obtained by the content provider from the third-party distributor.

8. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising determining the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content based upon a metadata identifier included within the broadcast media content that is broadcast to the user device.

9. The computer-implemented method of claim 8, wherein the metadata identifier comprises an Entertainment ID Registry handle.

10. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein presentation of the original, unedited version of the broadcast media content comprises one of initiating the presentation based upon a timecode indicative of a pause during the broadcast of the media content when the original, unedited version of the media content is obtained, and initiating the presentation at a beginning point of the original, unedited version of the media content.

11. A non-transitory computer readable medium having computer executable program code embodied thereon, the computer executable program code configured to cause a processor to: present alternative viewing options for a program listed on an electronic program guide (EPG) for linear broadcast transmission; and upon receiving an alternative viewing option selection from a user for the program, begin playback of an original, unedited version of the program on a user device.

12. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 11, wherein the original, unedited version of the program comprises at least one of an unaltered version of the program, a prequel to the program, a sequel to the program, an enhanced version of the program, and additional media content that is related to the program.

13. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 11, wherein the computer executable program code configured to cause the processor to present the alternative viewing options comprises computer executable program code configured to further cause the processor to display a menu indicating an option to view a previously obtained original, unedited version of the program.

14. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 13, wherein the computer executable program code is configured to further cause the processor to access a local storage unit to retrieve the previously obtained original, unedited version of the program.

15. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 11, wherein the computer executable program code configured to cause the processor to present the alternative viewing options comprises computer executable program code configured to further cause the processor to display a menu indicating an option to at least one of purchase or rent the original, unedited version of the program.

16. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 15, wherein the computer executable program code is configured to further cause the processor to conduct a transaction to complete the purchase or rental of the original, unedited version of the program.

17. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 16, wherein the computer executable program code is configured to further cause the processor to record entitlement information enabling the playback of the original, unedited version of the program.

18. An apparatus, comprising: a processor configured to transmit an original, unedited version of a broadcast version of media content to a user device, wherein the processor is configured to receive an indication from a user of the user device to view the original, unedited version of the media content, the processor being further configured to send the original, unedited version of the media content to the user device.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the processor is further configured to access an entitlement database configured to at least one of store and maintain digital rights management information enabling the retrieval and consumption of the original, unedited version of the media content.

20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the processor receives the original, unedited version of the media content from one of a broadcast entity or a third-party content provider operatively linked to the broadcast entity.

21. The method of claim 1, further comprising accessing the original, unedited version from a source that is different than the source that broadcast the media content.