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NBC U in VOD stream

CinemaNow pact fails to include downloads

CinemaNow has signed a deal to distribute films and TV shows from NBC Universal, marking the sixth of the seven major studios to partner with the Internet video-on-demand company.

But in a twist to past deals signed for online VOD, NBC U is making its content available via streaming only, meaning programs never reside on a consumer’s hard drive.

Other studio deals signed by CinemaNow and its competitor, the major studio joint venture Movielink, let users download encrypted files so they can watch them while disconnected from the Net, such as laptops on airplanes.

CinemaNow CEO Curt Marvis said the unusual terms came about because NBC U wanted to make files automatically delete from users’ hard drives after they are viewed. Company’s current technology lets users store the encrypted files so they can unlock them for a fee and immediately watch them again.

“That’s antithetical to our business model,” noted CinemaNow topper Curt Marvis, who said the studio instead allowed its films to be streamed as a compromise. “In a perfect world, we’d offer movies from every major studio via streaming and downloading.”

Only major studio missing from CinemaNow, which offers films online while they’re in the pay-per-view window, is Paramount.

Movielink has every major studio except Fox.

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