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RealTime IT News

CinemaNow Makes a Global Move

In a bid to take its movie and video-on-demand operation global, CinemaNow is launching a worldwide network of Web sites with a variety of broadband partners "to provide localized VoD and subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services."

The Marina del Rey, Calif.-based company, only three years old, said that its new PatchBay technology will serve as a centralized distribution, management and security system for content on the network.

Streaming video and movies are one of the hottest concepts going on the Internet; just yesterday RealNetworks and Starz/Encore joined the online movie subscription fray.

CinemaNow's partners in the global network include broadband providers British Telecom in the United Kingdom, Freeserve, the Wanadoo Group's ISP-Portal in the U.K., GOL Philippines, NextGentTel in Norway, Purocine in Latin America and TV2 Interaktiv in Norway.

Previously announced international licensors Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan and Walker Asia in Singapore) are also included.

CinemaNow, which says it has the rights to more than 3,000 movies, will provide partners with content for a particular territory (or territories), as well as customized technical distribution and content management via its proprietary VoD technology.

Bruce Eisen, executive vice president of privately held CinemaNow, said the company sees international expansion "as a real growth area." Several more partners are expected to join the network in the near future. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

The way it works is that CinemaNow via its PatchBay technology (the system that runs the CinemaNow Web site) will make available to its partners digital and territorial rights protection, user profiling, comprehensive pay-per-view services and detailed report generation.

The broadband partners provide customized localization and marketing for their individual services.

CinemaNow investors include Lions Gate Entertainment, Microsoft and Blockbuster.