February 8, 2008, 12:00 AM

Phone company Embarq offers online video rental in deal with CinemaNow

Embarq, which provides telephone and Internet service in 18 states, has opened an online video store where its high-speed Internet customers can download movies and TV shows. Embarq charges $1.99 to $3.99 per title, the same as Amazon’s Unbox service.

Embarq, a Sprint spin-off that provides telephone and Internet service in 18 states, has opened an online video store in a deal with CinemaNow Inc., an online retailer of downloadable movies, TV shows and music videos.

Embarq’s nearly 1.3 million broadband Internet subscribers will be able to rent titles at the Embarq Video Store at myembarq.com. The store will offer more than 5,000 movies, 5,000 movie videos and 2,000 TV shows that can be downloaded for play on a computer or to be burned onto DVDs.

Embarq is charging $1.99 to $3.99 for each rental, the same price range as Amazon.com’s Unbox downloading service. Netflix announced last month a free downloading service for most of its 7 million customers. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and Netflix No. 18.

Once content is rented, a customer has 30 days to download it, then 24 hours to view it once it’s been downloaded. Customers also can purchase videos for up to $19.99 each for unlimited play. Purchased videos can be burned to DVDs for playback on TV sets, computers or other devices.

"Seeking entertainment should be a simple and fun experience that easily fits into an individual`s lifestyle," says Harry Campbell, Embarq president of Consumer Markets. "At Embarq, we developed an online video store to give our high-speed Internet customers access to a variety of popular movies, music videos and TV shows that they can watch at their convenience, without leaving their home."

Embarq, which phone company Sprint spun off two years ago, reported this week it services 6.5 million landline phone and broadband Internet subscriptions. The company is based in Overland Park, KS.

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