Netflix beats pay-TV firms to Disney movie streaming rights

Editor | 05-12-2012

Netflix has stolen a march on cable TV and premium TV rivals in a new multi-year licensing agreement with Walt Disney Company to make it the exclusive US subscription TV service for first-run live-action and animated feature films.
The news comes only days after Netflix secured rights with Warner Bros and effectively positions the over-the-top (OTT) leader as Disney’s premium TV partner, a role traditionally played by companies such as Starz.
Under the terms of the deal, Netflix will be able to stream in the pay-TV window on multiple platforms 2,016 theatrically released feature films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature. Also included in the agreement will be high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made available on Netflix starting in 2013. In a separate deal Disney and Netflix have reached agreement on a multi-year catalogue deal that today brings to US Netflix members Disney classics such as Dumbo, Pocahontas and Alice in Wonderland.
"Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay-TV window, some of the highest quality, most imaginative family films being made today," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. "It's a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen."
"With this cutting-edge agreement, we are thrilled to take our highly valued relationship with Netflix to the next level by adding Disney's premier films to their programming line-up," added Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. "Netflix continues to meet the demands of its subscribers in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, and we are delighted that they will have much earlier access to our top-quality and entertaining slate.”