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CinemaNow offers Disney movies to TiVo users

Digital video recorder service also signs deal with Jaman.com

By Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 10/23/2008

OCT. 23 | TiVo users with a broadband connection will be able to start downloading digital rentals of Disney movies next week through a deal with movie download company CinemaNow.

Disney classics including Dumbo as well as new and recent releases such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest will be available Oct. 28 starting at $2.99, the same price they rent for through Apple iTunes. All downloads will be in standard definition.

Initially, CinemaNow will only offer Disney films through TiVo, but the download service eventually hopes to offer high-definition content and other films from its library through TiVo, CinemaNow senior VP of marketing Ashley Woodworth said.

TiVo already has a deal with Amazon.com to offer movie downloads to TiVo boxes from the five other major studios through Amazon Video on Demand. Amazon, however, doesn’t have a movie download deal with Disney.

Disney’s CinemaNow deal predates its distribution deal with Apple’s iTunes. Since partnering with iTunes, Disney has signed fewer deals with distribution outlets than other studios.

For CinemaNow, the deal is part of the company’s overall strategy to embed its store in a number of devices and other services. Woodworth said that although the company believes the Web “provides a good interactive discovery experience,” most people want to watch movies on their TV.

“This fits in with where the industry’s going with one-touch digital entertainment,” she said. “We’re putting ourselves in a great position to enable that.”

The retailer already offers its movies through the Xbox 360 and more recently partnered with Sonic Solutions to deliver downloads that can be burned-to-disc using DVD drives from computer maker Dell Inc. and consumer electronics manufacturer Pioneer.

TiVo also said Thursday that it has signed a deal with download service Jaman.com, whose library includes well-known independent and international films. Jaman films available for download through the TiVo include Oscar nominees such as Girl With a Pearl Earring, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Supersize Me and Ghost in the Shell.

Beginning today, Jaman films will be available to rent or buy through TiVo starting at $1.99, with some films offered for free.

“Our goal is to offer unlimited media content through one device with one easy-to-use interface, and these partnerships ensure that vision has become a reality,” TiVo VP and general manager of content services Tara Maitra said in a statement announcing the deals.


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