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CinemaNow Offers First Warner TV Content

1 Jun, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CinemaNow.com June 1 began offering electronic sellthrough episodes of “Babylon 5” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” following the signing of a movie and TV license agreement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

This marks the first availability of Warner television content on a download-to-own basis in the United States. Consumers can purchase both individual episodes ($1.99) and entire seasons, which includes the ability to burn a DVD backup playable only on a PC.

AOL and parent Time Warner currently offer almost 5,000 ad-supported episodes from about 100 archived Warner TV shows on their In2TV network.

Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based CinemaNow June 6 will offer Firewall, and 16 Blocks June 13, the same day of their DVD releases. The service currently offers for electronic sellthrough Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Warner catalog titles The Matrix and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

WBHEG previously released Goblet of Fire for download-to-own in Holland and Belgium to coincide with the title's DVD release in those countries. The studio has a license agreement with Dutch-based online service Free Record Shop to offer about 100 new and catalog titles.

“This is an important step for our U.S. distribution efforts,” said Jim Wuthrich, SVP of digital distribution for WBHEG.

CinemaNow — founded in 1999 by Lionsgate, Blockbuster, and Microsoft, among other investors — in April launched its download-to-own service, which includes content from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, MGM, Lionsgate and Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

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