While Netflix subscribers have voiced displeasure with the company on the Web all day due to a 60 percent price increase announced yesterday, Netflix quietly announced a renewed, multi-year contract agreement with NBC Universal. The new deal keeps all the existing NBC content online and adds the latest seasons of shows like The Office, Psych and Law and Order: SVU. Netflix Instant subscribers will also see more classic NBC television like Leave It To Beaver and Crossing Jordan as well as movies from NBC Universal like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
While the new agreement includes new seasons of Saturday Night Live after a season wraps, episodes during the season will no longer be available the day after the show. Recent SNL episodes are likely to become exclusive on the official NBC site as well as Hulu, a stake of which is owned by NBC. In addition, NBC’s Community remains absent from Netflix due to the partnership with Sony Pictures. The streaming library of Sony content was recently removed from Netflix due to a contact disagreement with Starz.
Other NBC television shows included in the deal are 30 Rock, Parenthood, The Event (recently cancelled), Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane and Warehouse 13. The new agreement is rumored to have jumped from $22 million a year in the 2010 contract to upwards of $300 million a year due to increased demand in streaming content. The agreement is also non-exclusive, thus NBC Universal can license content to other streaming video providers.
It’s likely that Netflix will continue to improve the Netflix Instant streaming service with new content deals. Netflix is in active negotiations with Starz to renew the previous deal and bring Sony’s content back online. In total, Netflix is looking expenses reaching an estimated $2 billion dollars a year for access to libraries of television network shows and feature-length movies, hence the justification for the announced price hike going into effect on September 1.
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