Netflix Acquires Exclusive US Movie Rights From Disney In Huge Coup

In what is a huge coup for internet video-on-demand service Netflix, the company have acquired exclusive US rights to movies from Walt Disney Studios, making a huge statement about their ambition and putting them right in competition with heavy hitter HBO and Showtime.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the three year agreement will come into effect from 2016 and means that Netflix can upload movies, including its Pixar and Marvel films, eight months after they’ve hit the cinemas. It’s a blow to pay channel Starz which currently own the rights and was hoping to hold on to them; it means they now only have Sony’s rights for movies, with that arrangement ending in 2016.

Understandably Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, was pretty excited. He called the deal "a bold leap forward for Internet television”, adding "We are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.” Until this point, Netflix only had exclusive film rights with independent studios such as Relativity Media and DreamWorks Animation – though it does have non-exclusive deals with the likes of Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate. However, the signing of Disney is huge, especially given that the major studio has just acquired George Lucas’ Star Wars empire for some $4.05 billion. This might not even be closed shop either, with reports suggesting Netflix have their eye on a number of other potential targets.


Tags: Disney - Netflix


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Colee's picture


Even with this news, I still think that Netflix plays in a different ballpark than HBO and Showtime. However, scoring Disney just after the acquisition of Star Wars is big news for Netflix subscribers. I left Netflix long ago because they don’t have much to offer in the way of new releases, and I found through one of my coworkers at DISH that I could get more through DISH’s Blockbuster @Home. I switched because I can stream, rent Blu-rays and video games, and I’m paying less than I was when I was with Netflix.

1 year 9 months ago
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