Deutsche Telekom starts video portal

BERLIN — Advertising-based Internet VOD is taking off in Germany, where telco giant Deutsche Telekom has started a free video portal to compete against a similar site launched by MSN in November.  

The platforms, which offer only limited content and films mostly dating from the last decade, come at a time when the film industry is facing an uphill battle against widespread piracy. Fake DVDs and illicit streaming sites flourish around the globe while most legal free sites, such as Hulu.com, are inaccessible outside the U.S. 

The new Videoload Free, which complements Deutsche Telekom’s pay-per-view Videoload site, offers a slew of older films and TV series free of charge to users of the Windows XP and Vista operating systems.

Among titles available are “Rush Hour,” “American History X,” “Mansfield Park,” “B.Monkey” and current and upcoming BBC shows such as “Dr. Who,” “Life on Mars” and “Little Britain” as well as music and documentary programming.

Videoload Free follows on the heels of MSN Germany’s own free online video platform, movies.msn.de, which supports both Windows and Apple operating systems. 

Germany’s first free, ad-based VOD service, MSN’s offering includes “Good Will Hunting,” “Get Real,” “Chasing Amy,” “Highlander” and “Blade” as well as animated classics like the Fleischer/Famous Studios “Superman” collection.

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