A wide selection of NBC Universal content will be available on a video-on-demand and download-to-own basis on British Telecommunications’ BT Vision platform in the U.K.
Universal Pictures U.K., NBC Universal International Television Distribution and British Telecommunications said Wednesday that they have struck a pair of digital distribution deals for movies and catalog content.
The first pact will see the trio partner on a download-to-own service similar to the one Universal U.K. struck in April with rentals-by-mail operator LoveFilm.
At month’s end, BT will launch a PC-based movie and TV download service via its Internet site, BTVision.bt.com, making handpicked titles from Universal available to customers as two Windows Media Player downloads one for their PC and one for their portable devices. A copy of the single-disc DVD also will be sent to them by mail.
Movie titles will include “King Kong,” “Jarhead” and “American Dreamz.” Comedy offerings from Universal’s home entertainment catalog which includes Billy Connolly, Ricky Gervais and Peter Kay also are likely to be featured.
The titles will be available on the same day as their U.K. DVD releases and will be priced from £7.99 ($14.70) for introductory offers to £16.99 ($31.27) for new releases. It will be available to all broadband users, not just BT broadband subscribers, the partners said.
Universal and BT also announced a video-on-demand pact that will allow BT to offer movies and television programs from the studio’s stable to subscribers of its next-generation television service, BT Vision.
A PVR set-top box, BT’s entry into the TV market with a Microsoft-powered operating system, is set to roll out beginning in the fall.
Neither the download-to-own nor the VOD pacts will be compatible with Apple’s Macintosh, the parties said.
The deals were announced by Universal Pictures U.K. chairman Eddie Cunningham and BT Vision chief executive Dan Marks, who previously headed up Universal Studios Networks U.K. and ran the Sci Fi Channel.