Apple seems set to launch movie downloads through iTunes US - at least if a senior movie company executive can be believed.

The CEO of Canadian movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment, Jon Feltheimer, spoke with analysts during the company's financial earnings conference call. He confirmed an iTunes deal has been reached.

"We also have digital delivery deals in place with Cinema Now, MovieLink, and iTunes, with upcoming announcements with at least two more major industry players," he told analysts, according to /Film magazine.

Company president Steve Beeks added: "In terms of iTunes movie downloads, I think most likely some time before the end of the year. We know when they are planning on launching, but since they have not announced it publicly, I do not think it is our place to say anything more about that."

The report claims that Apple will be offering movies on a rental basis, rather than for sale. In July the magazine reported that Apple has secured deals with Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.