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News.com examines the imminent launch of online movie delivery service Movielink, a joint venture among MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros. Last week the service announced technology partnerships with Microsoft and RealNetworks.
But the experts are skeptical on the possible success of the service, due to a number of legal and technical barriers. Even if those barriers are overcome, the market for online pay- per-view movies may be tiny, according to the story. Competing service MovieFlix serves only 6,500 monthly subscribers. In October, Intertainer, with nearly 150,000 broadband subscribers, closed its service, citing litigation with the movie studios.
However, others contend that on-demand entertainment on the Internet has a bright future–once consumers can download films and beam them to a television set through home-networking gear.