UltraViolet to Launch in Germany, France in Fall

The cloud-based digital content service, which has the support of the big studios, hopes to challenge the dominance of Apple's iTunes in continental Europe.

BERLIN -- Sony Pictures has confirmed the launch of online digital film service UltraViolet in Germany and France this fall. The service, already up and running in North America, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, will roll out in continental Europe in the second half of the year, with the bow in Germany and France set for September 30.

David Bishop, president, worldwide, of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, confirmed the German launch in an interview with business daily Handelsblatt, saying the studio has received "positive feedback" from major retailers in the region. In the United States, UltraViolet digital locker service is supported by such big box stores as Walmart and Best Buy.

STORY: UltraViolet Set for Expansion in Europe

UV launches in the Nethlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are also planned, but there is no fixed time table yet. 

Sony, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal and DreamWorks, along with minimajor Lionsgate, are backing the UltraViolet service, which allows customers to stream licensed films and TV series on multiple devices. UltraViolet's worldwide rollout is seen as a major challenge to iTunes, which dominates the legal download business worldwide.