Video Networks, the UK company that operates video-on-demand (VoD) service Homechoice, has struck feature film deals with Buena Vista International Television and Columbia TriStar International Television.
Pictures covered in the deal include foreign-language Oscar-winner Life Is Beautiful, Central Station and The Waterboy. The new contracts lift Homechoice's film slate to more than 500 titles.
Hugh Williams, Video Networks director of programming, said that he expects other studios to follow suit in the coming months. He is also intent on acquiring independent and "Bollywood" pictures.
Homechoice, which is currently only available in parts of North London, runs over British Telecom telephone lines that have been upgraded to ADSL standard. Subscribers are charged a basic $9.80 (£5.99) per month for the service which allows full replay, pausing and forward. Video Networks chief executive, Simon Hochhauser said: "Giants such as Disney and Columbia are willing to get involved in VoD because they see that it has a long-term future."
The UK now has a wide array of pay-per-view (PPV) and VoD services available via satellite, cable and ADSL telephone lines. A digital terrestrial PPV service ONrequest is also due to launch in the second quarter on the year.
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