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U, Videonet ink on U.K. VOD

'Gladiator,' 'Columbo' among content available

LONDON — Universal Studios Intl. has agreed to provide U.K.’s Video Networks video-on-demand service with feature films as well as film and TV library titles for several years.

Videonet will reap U pics, including “Gladiator” and “The Green Mile,” as well as TV series such as “Murder, She Wrote” and “Columbo” to be run on HomeChoice, its closed network VOD service.

HomeChoice, launched last September, is the first consumer TV-on-demand service and the largest broadband program operation in Europe, with more than 10,000 subscribers in London. Customers access the service using British Telecom’s ADSL network to dial up movies for 24-hour rental at a price of £2-£4 ($3-$5), depending on pic’s age.

Videonet has similar pacts with Disney, Warner Bros. and Columbia TriStar.

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