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Blockbuster Teams With CinemaNow

1/15/2009 11:26:00 AM Eastern

New York — Blockbuster is joining with online movie service CinemaNow through an agreement that extends Blockbuster’s online reach to a wide range of consumer electronics devices.

Blockbuster said Wednesday it signed a multiyear preferred provider agreement with Sonic Solutions, which acquired CinemaNow late last year, to form a joint venture called Blockbuster Powered by CinemaNow.

The service is expected to debut on a variety of devices in the second half of the year.

The deal will bring CinemaNow use of the Blockbuster brand and certain exclusive movie content, while making a more competitive offering to go up against rivals Amazon, Apple and Netflix.

Eventually, the two hope to have a full ecosystem so that Blockbuster customers can download a movie to their Blu-ray player, transfer it to their PC, and burn to a DVD through a Sonic Qflix DVD burner or watch it on a mobile phone or other device, all under the Blockbuster banner.

Blockbuster said it will continue to operate its online store and maintain its digital-content deals with studios and suppliers.

Going forward, Sonic Solutions will offer a Blockbuster Powered by CinemaNow brand to electronics manufacturers for new devices adding the service.