20th Century Fox and HBO have just inked a deal that could see digital versions of Fox movies available for digital sale faster than they were before. According to AllThingsD, the two companies have extended much of their previous rights deals, meaning that HBO gets to screen Fox movies before any other service. However the deal has been altered slightly, with a “softening” of the “electronic sell-through” window.
What that means is that even though you won’t be able to rent a Fox movie on iTunes while it has its initial run of being shown on HBO, you’ll be able to buy it. Instead of the only way to watch a recent Fox movie being HBO, there’s now at least some digital way to legally view it, though you do have to buy rather than just rent.
It sounds like this will kick into gear pretty soon, so titles like X-Men: First Class will be available in the near future, even though they aren’t right now.