Thirteen months after it launched in the US, the Xbox Live Video Marketplace will debut in the UK and Ireland next Tuesday, December 11, allowing users to download movies TV shows. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) launched the service at home in November 2006, with partners Paramount Pictures, CBS, (NYSE: CBS) TBS, MTV Networks, (NYSE: VIA) UFC, NBC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment soon joined by others including Lionsgate an Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) Pictures Entertainment.
Prices start at 250 Microsoft Points (about £2), with HD-DVD movie rentals including The Matrix and Harry Potter starting at 380 points (£3). Movie rentals expire after a fortnight. Though Microsoft could have stolen a march on Tiscali and BT (NYSE: BT) Vision much earlier in the UK, the new service launches at just the time when the UK market for lean-back is taking off big-time. Screen Digest reckons VOD movies will be grow from this years 17 million euros (£12.1 million) to 350 million euros (£250 million) by 2012 (via Planet Xbox 360).