TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Launches TV, Movie Service Launches TV, Movie Service

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 10 Sep 2006 23:32:20 -0400

By Elizabeth M. Gillespie, AP Business Writer

SEATTLE Inc. launched a digital video downloading service
Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer
would be getting into the online TV and movie business.

The service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer thousands of television
shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks,
the company said.

TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for
$7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99.

Amazon Unbox will offer shows from CBS, News Corp.'s Fox, MTV,
Nickelodeon, PBS, BBC, A&E, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central and The
History Channel, among others. General Electric Corp.'s NBC and Walt
Disney Co.'s ABC were noticeably absent on the list of participating
networks. MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom Inc.

Seven major studios are participating in's service:
Viacom's Paramount, News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, Sony Corp.'s Sony
Pictures, GE's Universal Studios, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.,
Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Walt Disney Pictures is not participating. Apple Computer Inc. CEO
Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Walt Disney Co., and the
announcement of Amazon's service comes just days ahead of the expected
launch of a movie download service at Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Details of the scope of Apple's expected offerings are unclear, but
its pioneering success and market dominance with its iTunes music and
TV show downloads as well as its iPod media players have already cast
Apple as a leading competitor.

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