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Technology giants fight for online movie, TV streaming rights

Google and Apple are vying for the rights to stream Hollywood blockbusters and this season's hottest TV series as they rush to bring pay-per-view services to computer screens and connected TVs across the globe.

According to an August 29 article in the Financial Times, Google is trying to secure deals with Hollywood's top movie studios for a new YouTube on-demand service that could be launched as early as the end of 2010.  

"Negotiations have been ongoing for several months, but have taken on greater urgency in recent weeks, amid intensifying competition between media and technology companies over the digital delivery of film and TV programming," wrote the Financial Times' Matthew Garrahn and Richard Waters.

Insiders also believe Apple is set to launch a new and improved Apple TV device - a device they believe will connect to existing TVs to provide access to the internet; movies and videos downloaded through iTunes; and may eventually provide a gateway to specially designed applications for your TV through Apple's App store - later this week.

An August 2010 report on the adoption of Web-to-TV in the US by market researcher In-Stat predicted there will be more than 200 million web-enabled consumer electronic devices in US households by 2015 while an April 2010 report by The Convergence Consulting Group showed that more than 800,000 people in the US have unplugged their cable TV subscriptions in favor of web-based TV programming over the last two years.