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CinemaNow looks to travel abroad

Internet movie rental company CinemaNow has strung together a series of deals with foreign Internet broadband providers to create a consortium that will help it launch video-on-demand services in countries around the world. The consortium, called the CinemaNow Worldwide Network, is made up of partnerships that involve the licensing of its technology, including digital rights management, to a number of broadband companies throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Partners include British Telecom; Freeserve, a top U.K. Internet service provider; GOL Philippines; NextGentTel in Norway; Purocine in Latin America; and TV2 Interaktiv in Norway. The company has already launched video-on-demand services in Singapore and Taiwan in deals with telecom companies Chunghwa Telecom and Walker Asia.

"We want to have a video-on-demand service in all the major territories of the world," said Bruce Eisen, executive vice president of CinemaNow. "The only way to do it is to partner with local media and broadband companies because they know their territory." Freeserve, owned by French media company Wanadoo Group, plans to introduce a movie-on-demand service on the Internet sometime early next year in partnership with CinemaNow, according to the company.