MARINA DEL REY, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 9, 2000 — CinemaNow Inc., a leading distributor of feature films over the Internet, and Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of CinemaNow’s pay-per-view service based on Microsoft® Windows Media™
. The new service is the first to offer securely streamed feature films from the library of a major, independent Hollywood production and distribution company on demand over the Internet on a pay-per-view basis. CinemaNow, which is backed by Lions Gate Entertainment, will offer its films in the Windows Media Format so viewers are assured of the highest video and audio quality, and it will protect them against piracy with Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) technology.
To inaugurate its pay-per-view service, CinemaNow will offer
starring Russell Crowe, on CinemaNow ( http://www.cinemanow.com/ ) beginning today.
is the first feature film starring major talent to premier on the Internet on a pay-per-view basis using secure streaming technology. The pay-per-view will be priced at $2.99, which will allow viewers to watch the film an unlimited number of times in a 48-hour period.
CinemaNow soon will offer more pay-per-view selections from its library of more than 800 films for which it has exclusive Internet distribution rights, including movies from Lions Gate Entertainment, Trimark Pictures, Allied Artists, Tai Seng Home Video and Salvation Films.
“The premiere of ‘Heaven’s Burning’ is a milestone and raises the bar for Internet entertainment,”
said Curt Marvis, CEO of CinemaNow.
“As we work with our partners to develop the efficient management and profitability of Web-distributed films, our growing relationship with Microsoft and use of Windows Media Technologies are tremendous aids in offering the best entertainment experience on the Web.”
Majority-owned by Lions Gate Entertainment, CinemaNow is uniquely positioned to pioneer the delivery of streaming video-on-demand, pay-per-view services.
“The launch of the ‘Heaven’s Burning’ pay-per-view demonstrates our commitment to exploring the Internet and broadband as a new means of distribution,”
said Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment.
“CinemaNow is leading the way in creating what we ultimately expect to be a robust, profitable new window of distribution.”
CinemaNow’s use of Windows Media Services running on the Windows® 2000 Server operating system enables the company to deliver high-quality streaming video, protected against piracy with Windows Media DRM technology. The streaming and transactional components of CinemaNow’s pay-per-view service are being developed in cooperation with the global streaming media network iBEAM Broadcasting Corp.
“Windows Media provides the technology today to deliver the most compelling experience to viewers, regardless of connection speed,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing for Microsoft’s Digital Media Division.
“Equally important, CinemaNow’s groundbreaking announcement demonstrates that, with Windows Media, the technology is also here to ensure viable business models, by protecting content against piracy and enabling pay-per-view and other revenue opportunities.”
CinemaNow chose Windows Media for its audio and video quality and its integrated, second-generation DRM technology. The advanced compression technology in Windows Media Video 7 will deliver near-VHS-quality streams of CinemaNow’s films at 300 Kpbs and near-DVD quality at 750 Kpbs. Windows Media DRM protects streamed as well as downloaded content, enabling pay-per-view business models. Windows Media DRM is the most widely deployed rights technology and is supported by major digital media players including Windows Media Player 7.
CinemaNow Inc. ( http://www.cinemanow.com/ ) is majority-owned by Lions Gate Films (TSE and AMEX
). CinemaNow holds exclusive Internet distribution rights to the most extensive and comprehensive library of feature-length films available on demand via the Internet.
section of the site currently streams more than 200 feature-length films that have been in theatrical and/or video and DVD release, using Windows Media Player as its primary platform. CinemaNow controls exclusive Internet distribution rights to more than 750 films from the Lions Gate, Trimark, Allied Artists, Salvation and Tai Seng libraries. In addition, through its film festival sponsorship program, CinemaNow is building a network of dedicated festival channels to bring regional content to a global audience, and is a conduit via its
section for independent filmmakers to find audiences both on the Internet and through conventional distribution.
CinemaNow technology and distribution partners include Microsoft, iBeam, LoudEye, Hollywood.com, College Television Network and HomePage.com.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation and the Windows Media software development kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 24 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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