Reuters reports that the U.S. movie rental chain Blockbuster has acquired the film download service, Movielink. While the terms of the deal are undisclosed, it’s thought that the purchase price is significantly less than the 50 million price tag that was banded about when negotiations began last March.
The U.S.-only movie download store was launched in 2002 as a joint venture between Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and MGM — giving it access to major Hollywood content. With the acquisition, Blockbuster is inheriting those licensing agreements and a back catalog of more than 3,300 downloads. According to the report, Blockbuster will continue to operate Movielink as a separate brand, but will eventually make elements of the service available through Blockbuster.com.
Movielink is a standard Windows DRM affair, with movie downloads offered for both rental and to-own. Rentals can be stored for up to 30 days and expire 24 hours after the first viewing. In some cases, downloads can be played back on up to three PCs — depending on the original content-owners’ wishes — while others are limited to one PC.