CBS Corp. and Netflix just announced a two-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will allow library CBS series to be streamed via Nexflix. Included in the deal are dramas Medium, Flashpoint, the original Hawaii Five-0, the different incarnations of Star Trek as well as Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone. On the comedy side, included are Frasier, Cheers, Family Ties and The Andy Griffith Show. The shows will be available in April.
2ND UPDATE: Deal is done. See news release below.
UPDATE: I’ve learned that as soon as tomorrow there’ll be a news release about EPIX giving Netflix exclusive online rights to films from its partners — Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM — for the next 5 years in exchange with $1 billion in licensing fees. Of course, who knows what those 5 years will bring in terms of product? Paramount has been self-financing its limited product and mostly distributing pics, Lionsgate is fighting a hostile takeover, and MGM is a corpse waiting for an afterlife. But all Netflix seems to care about these days is supposedly shaking up the pay channel world with exclusive online streaming deals like the recent one with Relativity Media. And who knows what shape Ryan Kavanaugh’s company will be in a few years.
NEW YORK and BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., August 10, 2010 – EPIX™ and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced an agreement through which Netflix members can instantly watch an array of new releases and library titles from EPIX streamed over the Internet from Netflix. Movies from the multi-year deal will begin streaming from Netflix on September 1 and include movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.
2ND UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Relativity Media will be in the distribution business sooner rather than later as it attempts to become a mini-major. Hmm.
UPDATE: This exclusive deal with Netflix might be impressive if more of Relativity Media’s movies did better at the box office. So it’s not exactly earth-shattering that Ryan Kavanaugh just told me that, at 12:01 AM Tuesday, Netflix is sending out a news release about Relativity no longer delivering its movies to pay TV channels. Instead, Relativity’s pics will now be shown via Netflix’s online streaming service. Insiders are calling this the “largest pay TV deal ever” — if that’s what it is. This will include going forward up to 30 movies per year. The first movies to go through the deal are the Nic Cage starrer Season of The Witch, the Brothers Strauss’ Skyline and The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. And maybe the Sundance-buzzed documentary Catfish and Wes Craven’s horror film My Soul To Take, among Relativity’s future movies. (How many underperforming Relativity films will be included as well?) Sorry, but it’s hilarious to think this deal will make HBO or Showtime or Starz or Epix shudder, especially as they continue to move away from showing movies and more towards original programming.