DULLES, Virginia: Time Warner's ailing AOL unit has inked a deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures to allow users to download movies and TV programs to their PCs or portable devices.

The move follows similar agreements with 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers earlier this year [WARC News: 28-Aug-06].

Consumers will be able to buy and retain the movies and TV shows at between $9.99 (€7.82; £5.28) and $19.99.

AOL launched its video portal in August as part of its strategic repositioning from a subscription-based service to one supported by advertising.

Analysts believe the company may have a better chance in attracting ad dollars in emerging fields like online video, despite competition from established rivals such as Yahoo and start-ups like YouTube.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff