Warner Bros. signs distribution deal with Lovefilm, ahead of Netflix's UK arrival

With Netflix creeping ever closer to its UK doorstep, Lovefilm is readying its defense -- beginning with Warner Bros. Today, the Amazon-owned streaming and rental service announced a new, multi-year partnership with the Brothers Warner, promising to deliver "wider choice and more access" to content across multiple platforms. Under the deal, users will be able to access a range of Warner Bros.' recent and forthcoming titles on their iPad, PlayStation 3, and, as of later this year, their Xbox 360, among other devices. The agreement will go into effect this December, with films like The Dark Knight, The Hangover, Gran Torino and Sex and the City 2 all available for exclusive viewing. Beginning in 2012, customers will be able to rent Warner Bros. titles 60 days after retail release, either via Lovefilm's DVD and Blu-Ray subscription service, or the studio's WarnerFilms channel. Intrigued cinephiles can whet their appetites with the full PR, after the break.

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Warner Bros. and Amazon's LOVEFiLM Seal Major Multi-Year, Multi-Layered UK Movie Partnership

SEATTLE, Nov 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Warner Bros. has signed a major film distribution agreement with LOVEFiLM it was announced today by Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland & Spain, and Simon Calver, Chief Executive, LOVEFiLM.

The multi-year, multi-layered pact offers consumers wider choice and more access to Warner Bros. content across a range of options. The deal spans LOVEFiLM's digital subscription, download to own and pay per view services, as well as Warner Bros.' branded SVOD service WarnerFilms.

An exclusive second window subscription pay TV deal will see Warner Bros.' recent and forthcoming film releases added to LOVEFiLM's Watch Online service through the LOVEFiLM Player, either on the PC or accessible via Sony PlayStation(R)3, Apple iPad, a growing number of web-enabled TV sets and Blu-ray players, and later this year Microsoft Xbox 360.

Movies exclusively available at the start of the deal in December will include The Dark Knight, The Hangover, Gran Torino and Sex and the City 2. And, in the coming months and years, LOVEFiLM customers, who subscribe to streaming as part of their package, will be able to instantly watch a regular flow of Warner Bros.' recent movies.

Underscoring both companies' commitment to giving customers a broad-ranging set of options to watch Warner Bros.' content, the deal continues to make the studio's film releases available for purchase or rent digitally; via LOVEFiLM's market-leading DVD and Blu-ray subscription rental service, through which DVDs and Blu-rays will be available by post 60 days after retail release, from 2012; and via Warner Bros.' branded SVOD channel, WarnerFilms. Scheduled by Warner Bros. and offering a great selection of recent and classic movies from Warner Bros.' portfolio of titles, WarnerFilms provides 24 hours a day on-demand access to 28 movies at any one time with seven new titles added every week.

Commenting on the agreement, Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, said, "This significant deal with LOVEFiLM and its parent company Amazon takes a 360 degree approach to delivering Warner Bros.' world-class movies across multiple business lines. Now, LOVEFiLM customers will enjoy more ways of enjoying great film content, all with the ease that the service has become known for."

Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, added: "The establishment of a second pay window with LOVEFiLM is an important evolution in the way films are made available for viewing in the UK in ever-more convenient ways. Importantly, the structure of the deal ensures that our films continue to retain their value to linear and non linear operators following this window and for the long term."

Simon Calver, CEO of LOVEFiLM, added: "This major deal builds on our partnership with Warner Bros. and gives LOVEFiLM members exclusive access to world-class movies across multiple platforms. We are committed to delivering the best entertainment service possible - giving our members the content they want on the platforms of their choice."