The big red streaming service and the House of Mouse have struck a new deal, and this one will have Canadians reaping the benefits. Walt Disney Studios and Netflix announced yesterday that the two companies have penned a new multi-year licensing agreement that will effectively make Netflix the exclusive Canadian subscription TV service with first-run Disney feature films, of both the live-action and animated variety.
According to the official press release, Netflix Canada members will be able to enjoy new titles – starting with Disney flicks released in 2015 – eight months after they leave theaters, which the release claims is faster than they traditionally take to make their way to premium pay-TV. The movies will come from a variety of Disney-owned sources, including Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disneynature and DreamWorks Studios.
Launched in 2010, Netflix’s Canadian service is now the home of first-run pay-TV films from Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and 20th Century Fox, original series such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Derek, and a wide range of films and TV series from Canada, Hollywood and beyond.
Neither Netflix nor Disney disclosed any specific financial terms related to the agreement.
The two struck a very similar deal in the U.S. at the close of 2012 that will see the streaming service take over the television rights to Disney properties starting on New Year’s Day, 2016. That deal means that Netflix will have exclusive U.S. rights to Walt Disney Studios films for three years, starting in 2016, as well as non-exclusive streaming rights to movies in the Disney back catalog, including Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, and more recent animated fare such as Pocahontas.
The 2016 day of reckoning will mark the end of Disney’s existing TV rights deal with cable company Starz, which currently holds rights to Disney’s movie catalog and licenses certain titles for limited streaming release via Netflix.