In a deal that is sure to shake up the world of premium TV, Netflix has signed a deal that will give them exclusive access to stream Epix content on its pay service. Netflix may start streaming titles from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM on September 1st. The specifics haven’t yet been disclosed, but the LA Times speculates that Netflix will pay Epix close to $1 billion in the multi-year deal.
“Adding EPIX to our growing library of streaming content, as the exclusive Internet-only distributor of this great content, marks the continued emergence of Netflix as a leader in entertainment delivered over the Web,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “The EPIX deal is an example of the innovative ways in which we’re partnering with major content providers to broaden the scope and freshness of choices available to our members to watch instantly over the Internet.”
Important to note here is that the deal does not threaten Hollywood’s DVD business. Netflix customers will still have to wait for a certain amount of time after the DVD release before the movies will be available for instant streaming. Also, to soften the blow to the cable companies, there is a 90-day wait after the movie debuts on Epix before they can be streamed online.
Despite the restrictions, this is still an awesome deal for all involved. Netflix gets to add current content to it’s already growing catalog. These are more popular movies and will be available instantly on the web via a computer or other supported device. Current offerings for instant streaming are slightly lacking and this should be a huge help.
On the Epix side of the deal, they are walking away with a serious wad of cash which they needed to continue doing business. It also serves as an example in giving customers access to more content, while preserving “the premium television, subscription on demand and online window reserved for cable, satellite and telco television partners.” Keeping all parties happy is usually the point where entertainment deals break down.
“Netflix is an incredibly popular service and we welcome them as our newest distribution partner. We are pleased to be able to continue our mission of bringing consumers the movies where they want to watch them, while satisfying the differing needs of cable, telco and satellite operators. This deal also underscores the tremendous value of our offerings in the marketplace.” — Mark Greenberg, president of EPIX
This is a huge investment by Epix and Netflix in the future of entertainment on the web. While they have taken steps to pacify cable TV, the deal still makes cutting the cable and ditching the dish a little easier.
Does this make Netflix more attractive to you?