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Rovi Launching Transactional VOD Service for U.K. Supermarket Chain

23 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel, Chris Tribbey

Rovi Corp. Aug. 23 said it signed a deal with Sainsbury’s in the United Kingdom that will allow the supermarket giant (1,000 stores) to launch an online streaming platform in the region’s growing over-the-top video market.

Expected to launch later this year, the movie storefront will reinforce Sainsbury's online channel growth strategy and complement its digital entertainment lineup, which currently includes music and ebooks.

Rovi Entertainment Store will enable Sainsbury's to provide its customers access to an extensive library of film and TV entertainment, including new releases often on the same day they are available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The service initially will be available online at Sainsbury's Entertainment (www.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk), and then expand to offer access through a range of connected devices, including smart TVs, Internet-connected Blu-ray players, smartphones and game consoles, such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

“Moving into digital film is an exciting addition to our existing online offerings, and supports our customers as they progress from consuming content on physical disc to accessing their favorite entertainment on a range of devices, where and when they choose,” Luke Jensen, group development director of Sainsbury’s, said in a statement.

Indeed, 18% of consumers in 14 countries are accessing online content daily via their TVs, according to NPD DisplaySearch. While the study found that desktop PCs and laptops are still the primary source for viewing online content, mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are gaining ground.

The agreement is a godsend for Rovi, which recently said it would have to spend additional capital to rollout its Entertainment Store, which enables retailers, service providers, CE manufacturers and content owners, to launch over-the-top storefronts allowing consumers to discover, purchase, manage and enjoy a broad range of new movies and TV shows on multiple platforms and devices.

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