Universal Pictures growing its download and VODbusiness in the UKthrough a new deal with British Telecommunications (BT). This follows onearlier deals with LoveFilm and Wippit.

Universal Pictures UK and NBC Universal International TelevisionDistribution have struck simultaneous digital distribution agreements with BTfor download-to-own or video-on-demand offerings in the UK.

Universal's film and TV content will be sold on the BT Vision platform,a new download service to be launched on July 31.

The deal will launch with 150 Universal titles, which will be madeavailable for download to own or rent on the same day as their UK DVD release.In the same format as the LoveFilm deal, thedownloads-to-own purchases will include one copy for a PC, one copy for aportable device and a regular DVD mailed by post.

The video-on-demand service will be offered through BT's next-generationTV service BT Vision.

"As leaders in digital delivery, Universal Pictures UK are delighted to have partnered with BT in this unprecedenteddigital deal," said Peter Smith, president of Universal Pictures International."We are excited that the UK consumer can lookforward to even more choice and flexibility in accessing a wide range of NBCUniversal content."

Added Rob Bell, VP of digital platforms for Universal PicturesInternational:"The launch with BT is obviously very exciting for usbecause of BT's customer base and the potential for this to bring DTO(download-to-own) to a huge amount of people in the UK. Itcontinues our strategy of going to market with quality services and partnerswho share our enthusiasm for DTO."