Buena Vista, BT sign video on demand deal in the UK

MUMBAI: Buena Vista International Television (BVITV), the international TV distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company, and BT Plc, have announced that they have concluded a multi-year broadband video-on-demand rental agreement in the UK.

This will make available, on-demand, a selection of upcoming, current and library movies from BVITV's portfolio via BT's upcoming next-generation TV service, BT Vision. This agreement is in line with The Walt Disney Company's focus on the application of technology to enhance its content and expand its distribution, asserts an official release.
Through this agreement, BT Vision's customers will be able to purchase on-demand a selection of current and upcoming features from Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films. Titles include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Shaggy Dog and Scary Movie 4. The agreement also includes a range of library features, adds the release.

BVITV EMEA executive vice president and managing director Tom Toumazis said, "As flexibility and choice of content become increasingly important factors to the entertainment consumer, we're pleased to be working with BT to offer this strong selection of our movie titles to BT Vision's customers across the UK, in a convenient range of ways on this exciting new digital service."

BT Vision CEO Dan Marks said, "We are delighted to announce this agreement with The Walt Disney Company. BT Vision's film service will be immensely strengthened by our ability to offer current movies from one of the strongest studios and a great selection of titles from Disney's magnificent catalogue. We look forward to working with Disney to develop and use innovative technology to continue providing our customers with choice, convenience and control over their movie-watching."

At launch, BT Vision customers will be able to enjoy a vast range of film, music and television programming available on-demand as well as interactive services and all the Freeview channels, all available on the TV, with no compulsory subscription. This combination, delivered on a software platform powered by Microsoft and through a set-top box made by Philips, will allow customers choice, control and convenience.

BT Vision has already announced content deals with a range of entertainment companies including Dreamworks, i-concerts, Eagle Rock, BBC Worldwide, Paramount, Warner Music Group, National Geographic Channel,Universal,SONY BMG, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting; as well as with independents including Lionsgate, Entertainment Rights plc, NBD Television and Wall to Wall Television. BT Vision has also announced near-live FA Premier League matches from the 2007-2008 season, adds the release.

This agreement was concluded by BVITV vice president Digital Media Damian Newton and executive director Sales UK and Ireland Catherine Powell, working with BT Vision's director business affairs Mark Cranwell and head of film Bobbie Fox.

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