Travellers switching off hotel 'pay-per-view' movies

By David Flynn, January 31 2011
Travellers switching off hotel 'pay-per-view' movies

Travellers are less likely to hit that 'Pay' button on the TV remote control in their hotel room as pay-per-view hotel movies take a hit from laptops, iPads and the Internet.

A survey conducted by USA Today found that following a decade-long decline in hotel movie rentals, 81% of the 2,357 people who responded said they don't order hotel pay-per-view movies.

More telling is that 66% of respondents said they're happy to watch free programs (ranging from local TV channels to cable services such as CNN and the BBC).

"Another 15% said that they used to rent movies, but today bring their own DVDs or watch movies online on their laptop or digital device" reported USA Today Hotel Check-in columnist Barbara De Lollis. "Just 20% of respondents said that they order pay-per-view movies every so often as a splurge."

"Compared to 2000, hotels in the USA now collect 39% fewer dollars from pay-per-view rentals, according to Colliers PKF Hospitality Research.

The range of alternatives to pay-per-view entertainment continues to increase. Business travellers can slip a new DVD into their luggage and watch it on their laptop, purchase movies and TV shows for their laptop or iPad from iTunes (or download them for free from other online sources) and even catch up with TV shows from home and live broadcasts such as ABC News 24.

(Click here for step-by-step details on how you can watch Aussie TV shows and live services like ABC News 24 when you're overseas.)

Earlier this month Marriott Hotels announced it would remove adult movies from its pay-per-view channels over the next few years, coinciding with the move from traditional hotel video systems to Internet-based video-on-demand technology.

"Changing technology and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content" Marriott says.

And of course, if it's porn that you want there's plenty of that on the Internet as well.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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