When Movielink CEO Jim Ramo told CED recently that cable operators should view his Internet-based movie rental service as friend rather than foe, he wasn't kidding.

That sentiment was cemented Thursday when Movielink and Time Warner Cable's Road Runner struck a multi-year deal to create a co-branded movie download service for cable modem customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Road Runner, which counts roughly 3 million high-speed subs, will offer Movielink's library of movies and trailers, and co-opt on a "Movie of the Month" promotion that enables users to vote for their film favorites each month. Road Runner will also offer Movielink gift certificates in support of its customer acquisition and retention plans.

Road Runner subs will also be able to take advantage of a recent upgrade made to the Movielink service that enables users to begin watching titles while they download to their PC hard drives.

Movielink is backed by MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. and Road Runner also happen to be part of the AOL Time Warner corporate family.

But Movielink doesn't have eyes only for cable. In August, the company signed a similar deal with BellSouth in support of its "FastAccess" DSL customers.