Netflix inks deal with Twentieth Century Fox & Universal Studios

MUMBAI: Netflix, Inc has signed deals with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Netflix’s deal with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp encompasses both physical and digital distribution of Fox movies and television programs, whereas the deal with Universal Studios Home Entertainment covers the distribution of Universal new release DVD and Blu-ray titles at Netflix while providing an expanded selection of the studio’s movies that can be streamed instantly from Netflix to TVs and computers.

The expansion of the license for Fox streaming content, including a first-time streaming license for Fox TV shows that includes complete prior seasons of several blockbuster television series, allows Netflix to provide its more than 12 million members access to a greater variety movies and TV episodes from the studio’s library.

As part of the agreement, Twentieth Century Fox will have the ability to determine the window on its content in both the physical and streaming formats. The agreement provides for a 28-day window from the home entertainment street date for new Blu-ray and DVD film releases, and varying dates of availability for its library and new television programming. Among the first DVD/Blu-ray releases under this arrangement will be Avatar, which will be available to Netflix customers 28 days after its April 22 street date.

On the other hand, new release titles from Universal Studios on DVD and Blu-ray will be made available to Netflix members after a 28-day window, giving Universal a dedicated time period for sales of its physical and digital offerings. Netflix receives the benefits of reduced product costs, significantly more units and better in-stock levels four weeks after street date. At the same time, a license for Universal streaming content allows Netflix to provide its more than 12 million members more movies they can watch instantly.

"A key aspect of our content delivery strategy is to provide consumers with attractive options to view our movies and television shows across a broad range of media, windows, and business models. This expanded relationship with Netflix offers our audiences more choice and convenient access to a wide variety of our content," said Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen and CEOs Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman.

"In a rapidly changing world of windows and technology, this deal reflects a long-standing relationship between Netflix and Fox and is an example of how we can work together creatively. We believe the Fox deal, which brings some of the studio’s great TV franchises and a library of both contemporary and classic movies to the growing percentage of Netflix members who are watching instantly, is a win all around," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

The streaming agreement with Fox makes a wealth of popular TV series available to watch instantly, including all prior seasons of current hit series like Lie to Me, Bones, 24, and King of the Hill, as well as complete seasons of library TV shows such as Prison Break, Arrested Development and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The deal also includes films, like Aliens, The Thin Red Line, Romancing the Stone and Academy Award winning film classics like Patton.

"We’re extremely pleased to have reached this mutually beneficial arrangement that will allow Netflix subscribers to continue enjoying Universal’s film content on DVD and Blu-ray," added Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau.

The first release covered under the new agreement is the comedy It’s Complicated, which will be available to Netflix subscribers 28 days after its April 27 street date. The film streaming agreement makes premium domestic films like Gosford Park and Billy Elliott and library films including The Pianist, Being John Malkovich and Do the Right Thing available to watch instantly.