Wal-Mart signs big 6 studios for movie downloads

Lookout iTunes, later today Wal-Mart will be announcing a download deal with all six major Hollywood studios -- the first of the big boys to do so. So not only will Wal-Mart's HP-created web site carry flix from Paramount and Disney just like Apple's service, they'll also tap into the treasures of Warner Brothers, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Universal. Television downloads can be had from the likes of Comedy Central, CW, FX, Logo, MTV and Nickelodeon. In all, about 3,000 productions will be available for download including films like "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Little Miss Sunshine" and TV series like "24" and "Veronica Mars." Download prices will be $12.88 to $19.88 on the day of the DVD release with older movies starting at $7.50; TV shows will go for $1.96 an episode. At this point, there's no mention of a download-to-burn capability or of cross-platform compatibility. However, it's likely to be Windows (DRM) only just like their existing beta service. Will this service go the way of their Wal-Mart Netflix DVD rental business or will it help drive down prices for consumers while mercilessly drubbing the competition out of the market? Time will tell.

Update: Wal-Mart's download site has sprung to life... kind of. We'll have to give 'em a few to sort out the kinks.

[Via The DVD Dossier]