Pay-Per-View Comes to the Net

Have you been sitting at work dreaming of being able to watch your favorite movie on a whim right from your computer screen?

CinemaNow Inc., a distributor of feature films over the Internet, and Redmond’s Microsoft Corp. may make this dream a reality.

The companies yesterday announced CinemaNow’s pay-per-view service based on Microsoft’s Windows Media.

The new service is the first to offer securely streamed feature films from the library of a major, independent Hollywood production and distribution company on demand over the Internet on a pay-per-view basis. CinemaNow will offer its films in the Windows Media Format and it will protect them against piracy using Windows Media digital rights management technology.

“As we work with our partners to develop the efficient management and profitability of Web-distributed films, our growing relationship with Microsoft and use of Windows Media Technologies are tremendous aids in offering the best entertainment experience on the Web,” says Curt Marvis, CEO of CinemaNow.

To inaugurate its pay-per-view service, CinemaNow will offer “Heaven’s
Burning,” starring Russell Crowe. “Heaven’s Burning” is the first feature film starring major talent to premier on the Internet on a pay-per-view basis using secure streaming technology. The pay-per-view will be priced at $2.99, which will allow viewers to watch the film an unlimited number of times in a 48-hour period.

Officials at CinemaNow say the company will soon offer more pay-per-view selections from its library of more than 800 films for which it has exclusive Internet distribution rights, including movies from Lions Gate Entertainment, Trimark Pictures, Allied Artists, Tai Seng Home Video and Salvation Films.

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