Netflix is paving the path for next-generation pay-TV. Late last year, Netflix cemented a deal with Disney, which will give its streaming media service exclusive rights to Disney’s content for at least three years starting in 2016. The deal effectively yanked the rug out from under pay-TV service, Starz, putting it in direct competition with similar services such as HBO and Showtime. Now, a recent statement from Netflix confirms that it has more rug-yanking planned as it has now inked a similar deal with The Weinstein Company (TWC).
According to the statement, the deal is similar to Netflix’s deal with Disney in that it will get exclusive rights and quick access to first-run movies from TWC. Previously, this exclusive deal belonged to pay-TV service Showtime, an arrangement which began in 2009.
Netflix already has some of TWC’s content available now, including titles such as Academy Award winning Best Picture, The Artist, and Best Documentary Feature, Undefeated. But beginning in 2016, Netflix will become the exclusive pay-TV portal through which TWC’s first-run films can be viewed. Forthcoming TWC titles include The Grandmaster, Salinger, and Vampire Academy.
Lest there be any question around Netflix’s intentions to dominate the pay-TV space, Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix stated, “We look forward to reinventing the pay TV window with the Weinsteins.” But these recent deals are just part of Netflix’s overall strategy to redefine TV amid the company of some highly-resistant Stalwarts of media. Netflix’s efforts to produce original content are also bearing serious fruit. Both Orange Is The New Black, and House of Cards are being met with critical acclaim, and the latter of the two has racked up nine Emmy nominations.
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