BitTorrent to offer legal TV, movie downloads

Posted by Mark Raby

Los Angeles (CA) - The name behind one of the most popular forms of digital piracy, BitTorrent has announced that it is launching a new platform that will allow consumers to purchase digital content on the up and up.

Dubbed the BitTorrent Entertainment Network, it has reportedly already inked deals with Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MGM, and Lionsgate for online purchases of feature films. The television branches of Fox and MTV are also in the picture, with 24 and Punk'd expected to be available with the launch of the service, according to the Associated Press.

"The vast majority of our audience just loves digital content. Now we have to program for that audience and create a better experience for that content so the audience converts to the service that makes the studios money," said BitTorrent president Ashwin Navin.

The company says that at least one third of the people who have already installed the BitTorrent software would be willing to pay for legitimite content, which is available at a higher quality than most pirated videos.

Priced at the same level as other download services, TV show episodes will cost $1.99 each. Unlike iTunes and Amazon's Unbox, though, movies will only be available on a rental basis. A $2.99 price will allow consumers to watch a movie for 24 hours, with a $1 premium on top of that for newly released titles.