Exclusive Agreement Gives Netflix Internet Streaming Rights to Epix Movies

As expected (see the article published on itvt.com, August 9th), video rental company, Netflix, and Epix, a subscription-based multiplatform (linear, VOD, online) premium programming service which is a joint venture between Viacom's Paramount Pictures arm, MGM and Lionsgate, on Tuesday announced an exclusive, multi-year agreement that will allow Netflix to offer streaming new-release and library titles from Epix's parent companies on its Watch Instantly service. According to the companies, movies covered by the deal--which is expected to add up to 3,000 titles to Netflix's Watch Instantly offering--will begin streaming on Netflix on September 1st. While the companies have not revealed the dollar amount of the deal, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday that it will see Netflix paying Epix close to $1 billion over its term.

Epix, which has subscription pay-TV rights to new releases and library movies from its parent companies, says that it will make those movies available to Netflix 90 days after they premiere on premium pay-TV and subscription VOD services. Historically, the companies say, the rights to distribute these movies are pre-sold to pay-TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release.

Netflix bills the new deal as "a significant step in building [its] streaming offer, adding many popular movie titles from some of the world's leading studios," and as "add[ing] meaningfully to a growing library of movies and TV shows that can be watched instantly on TV's via a range of leading consumer electronic devices capable of streaming from Netflix and on computers." Epix, meanwhile, characterizes the deal as "reflect[ing] the value of the Epix platform which, from its start, has provided new rights and flexibility for the distribution of its movies," and as allowing it to "continue the distribution of popular content on a variety of platforms and preserve the premium television, subscription on-demand and online window reserved for cable, satellite and telco television partners."

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