TOKYO Jan 8 Paramount studios is poised to drop
its support of the high-definition DVD (HD DVD) format after
Warner Bros studio said it would back the competing Blu-ray
format, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The loss of support from Paramount, which is owned by Viacom
Inc VIAb.N, would likely deal the final blow to the HD DVD
format backed by Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and put an end to the
format war, the newspaper said on its Web site.
Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) Warner Bros studio on Friday said
it would exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Sony Corp's
(6758.T) Blu-ray format, marking a major setback to the HD DVD
Blu-ray discs outsold HD DVD by nearly two-to-one in the
United States last year, but HD DVD had secured major allies in
August when Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc
said they would go exclusively with HD DVD.
But Paramount is understood to have a clause in its contract
with the HD DVD camp that would allow it to change sides if
Warner Bros backed Blu-ray, the Financial Times said, citing
people familiar with the situation.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne)