Apple has quietly inked a deal with Universal Studios to permit iTunes users to re-download the studio’s movies via iCloud, leaving Fox the final hold-out for the cloud service. Apple had added movie support to iCloud – allowing users to download content they had purchased from the iTunes store to multiple devices registered to the same account – when it launched the new iPad and the third-gen Apple TV; however, thanks to a previous agreement with HBO, neither Universal Studios nor Fox movies were available under the service.
The issue, it was revealed, was a prior deal between HBO, Universal and Fox which gave the cable provider an exclusive window for movie availability. However, hope was at hand, with HBO saying it was willing to renegotiate so as to provide more flexibility for iCloud users looking to seamlessly access their content.
Those negotiations have apparently freed up Universal Studios to join the iCloud party, with movies no longer showing the “When purchased, this movie will not be available from iTunes in the Cloud” warning. Fox content, meanwhile, still shows the message; back in mid-March, insiders suggested a Fox agreement could be reached “within weeks.”
For more on the new Apple TV – which includes a refreshed user-interface and support for 1080p Full HD content – check out the full SlashGear review.