PIttsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Don Lindich reports a dirty bit about Warner's defection to Blu-ray that we had uncovered in our own reporting of the format war at CES, and which we had confirmed through a different source (except for the payout numbers), though were holding close to our chest while we worked some other angles. Warner actually wanted to go HD DVD. They gave Toshiba the chance to bring another studio into the HD DVD camp before they turned Blu. Fox was lined up, and told the HD DVD camp it was going to switch to HD DVD, which would've also turned Warner exclusively HD DVD. At the last possible minute, it nixed the deal.
Lindich says it's because Fox received a reported $US120 million payout from Sony to stay Blu-ray—Warner then switched and received between $US400 and $500 million for its defection. BW says it's closer to $US400 million. In our phone call with Warner Kevin Tsujihara said it wasn't a bidding war that brought them over—that's true, in the words of Ben Kenobi, from a certain point of view. [Post-Gazette]