Service also has deals to distrib major label music

NBC Universal has inked a deal with P2P service Peer Impact to allow users to rent film and TV titles such as “The Bourne Identity” and “Jerry Springer: Uncensored” online.

Service, still being beta-tested with 30,000 subscribers, already has deals to distribute music from the four major labels, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI.

NBC U deal — the time a studio has done with a legal peer-to-peer service — comes on the heels of NBC’s deal to make firstrun TV shows available commercial-free on DirecTV for 99¢ an episode.

Peer Impact, owned by Wurld Media, is tiny compared to P2P services built on the illegal trade of music and video such as Kazaa and Grokster, but deal represents another step into digital distribution for the conglom.

Peer Impact users will pay a fee to download a TV show or film and will have access to it for 24 hours. Fees have not been set by Wurld Media but are expected to be about $3.99, or roughly what cablers charge for video-on-demand.

Because Peer Impact is a distributed network, parts of shows will be downloaded from many “peer” computers simultaneously, making the service faster than one in which a program is downloaded from one source, the company said.

Users earn “peer cash” by becoming a “passive distributor” (leaving the computer on) and “active distributor” (recommending content to others).

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