Most major cable companies, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Charter and Time Warner Cable offer on-demand and pay-per-view services to their customers. In addition, services such as Apple's iTunes store and Amazon Video offer pay-per-view movies over the Internet.
In addition to pay-per-view services, many cable companies and Internet video streaming services offer the option to purchase a movie rather than rent it for a single viewing. While this is more expensive initially than a pay-per-view option, it gives customers the opportunity to watch a favorite movie whenever they like without paying again. This can make purchasing a favorite movie cheaper than the pay-per-view option in the long run. Most cable services and many Internet streaming services allow purchasers to stream purchased films on demand, so there is no need to download the film in its entirety to watch it again.
While pay-per-view movies and on-demand television services are ubiquitous as of 2015, early attempts to deliver pay-per-view programming date back as far as 1951. The Zenith Phonevision system used a combination of computer punch cards and phone lines to unscramble television signals for pay-per-view programming, but was not granted a permit to operate after its initial trial period by the Federal Communications System.