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AOL to sell movies, shows through portal (buffy mention)

Anick Jesdanun

Friday 25 August 2006, by Webmaster

NEW YORK - "Hitch," "24" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" are among the movies and television shows that AOL will sell through its new video portal under deals the Internet company has forged with major Hollywood studios.

The offerings also mark the latest experiments in online distribution as studios and TV networks try everything from showing programs for free on their Web sites to selling already-aired episodes for $1.99 each through services like Apple Computer Inc.‘s iTunes Music Store and Google Inc.‘s video store.

Users will be able to download selected titles from those studios for $9.99 to $19.99 each, comparable to fees at online services CinemaNow, MovieLink and Guba and the upcoming offerings through News Corp. sites. Initial titles available include "Hitch" and "Zathura" from Sony.

AOL will also sell Fox television shows for $1.99 an episode. The offerings include current series such as "24," "Prison Break" and "It‘s Always Sunny in Philadelphia," along with classics like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Hill St. Blues." Playback will be limited to 10 computers or devices.

AOL already has a partnership with Warner Bros., called "In2TV," for free showings of classics like "Welcome Back Kotter," "Sisters" and "Growing Pains."

Shares of Time Warner rose 1 cent, to $16.55, in midday trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange .