FilmFlex bows VOD services

Grants access to pics like 'Dates,' 'Mountain,' 'Kill Bill'

LONDON — FilmFlex launched two U.K. video-on-demand ventures Tuesday, backed by Sony, Disney and pay TV specialist On Demand Group.

The service grants customers of cablers NTL in Glasgow and Telewest in Bristol broadband access to pics including “50 First Dates,” “Cold Mountain,” and “Kill Bill Vol. 2.”

Subscribers will be offered pause, fast forward and rewind features with no need to buy or rent new equipment.

Titles from Columbia Pictures, TriStar Films, Revolution Studios, Sony Pictures Classics, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films as well as independent producers Pathe and Icon Films will be available.

Further content deals with major and independent film studios will be announced as the service spreads across the U.K.

It will compete with BSkyB’s digital video recorder system, Sky Plus, already in half a million of the satcaster’s 7.1 million subscriber homes. While it does not offer VOD, auds can assemble their own viewing schedules including movies.

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VOD has been slow to develop in the U.K. due to the lack of technical infrastructure.

Local services are available in London via HomeChoice and in Hull via Kingston Communications. But faster takeup of broadband may change that.