AT&T launched a Web site Friday that offers users free access to full-length movies and television shows.
The site, called AT&T Entertainment, has a similar design to Hulu, and it features content from the likes of NBC, CBS, CNBC, ABC, SyFy, Oxygen, The CW, USA Network, and other networks. The site shares some of the same content as Hulu due to a licensing agreement, and it uses the Hulu embedded player for some shows and films.
Users can freely access the site to view videos, but AT&T U-Verse users will also be able to use the site to remotely manage their digital video recorders. AT&T is trying to tap a growing market, as a recent report from Ipsos MediaCT said 67% of Internet users have streamed or downloaded digital video.
"We know our customers want to be able to access their favorite content anytime, anywhere," said Dan York, executive VP at AT&T, in a statement. "AT&T Entertainment provides the one-stop destination to watch your favorite TV shows and movies on your PC, wherever you have a broadband connection. The site will grow and evolve to make more content available to consumers in new and better ways."
The move is part of AT&T's larger strategy to enable content on multiple screens, and rival Verizon is employing a similar strategy with its FiOS IPTV service. This does mean the telecoms are increasingly encroaching on cable companies' turf, and the cable companies are responding in kind.
Comcast and Time Warner are major investors in Clearwire and its WiMax network, and the companies will likely resell WiMax to offer customers mobile services. Cox Communications will be using its share of the 700-MHz spectrum to offer mobile content and services of its own.
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