Verizon calls 'action' on movie downloads

Deal with Movielink will enable some Verizon broadband customers to download rental films to watch on a computer or PC-connected TV.

Verizon Communications on Thursday launched a movie download service for broadband customers through a partnership with Movielink.

The rentals are available to customers of Verizon Online's digital subscriber line and Fios Internet service, Verizon said. These customers can choose from a selection of titles on Movielink's video-on-demand service.

The downloaded movies can be stored on a hard drive for up to 30 days, Verizon said. People can watch a rented film as often as they want in a 24-hour period. The files can be viewed on a PC, on a television connected to the PC, or on a laptop computer--the system does not have to be online. Thirty days after downloading, the movie files are automatically deleted, Verizon said.

The New York-based phone company is entering into new partnerships with entertainment companies as part of its strategy to make inroads into the paid television market using its fiber-optic network. Entertainment content is a key application driving broadband penetration.

"Our new movie rental service helps our broadband customers get even more out of their high-speed connection," Eric Cevis, vice president of retail markets at Verizon, said in a statement. "With top content from Movielink and the speed of Verizon's broadband networks, customers enjoy the flexibility and convenience of accessing affordable entertainment in ways they want to receive it."

The cost of renting a downloadable Movielink film typically ranges from $2.99 to $4.99, with a selection offered at 99 cents per download, a Verizon representative said.