In just a few weeks, courtesy of a new partnership between EPIX and Netflix, more than 15 million Netflix subscribers will be able to watch an array of new releases and library titles from EPIX streamed over the Internet, including films from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.
This deal really is groundbreaking and could be quite a blow to cable-TV premium programming.
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom and its Paramount Pictures unit, MGM and Lionsgate. As such, it has subscription pay-TV rights to new releases and movies from the libraries of its partners, and it will make these movies available to Netflix 90 days after their premium pay-TV and subscription-on -demand debuts. Historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical releases.
It also claims to be the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up of new Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series, music and comedy specials through the linear channel, on demand and online.
EPIX noted the deal reflects the value of the its platform that, from its start, “has provided new rights and flexibility for the distribution of its movies. The agreement allows EPIX 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.”
According to Netflix, the agreement is “a significant step in building the company’s streaming offer, adding many popular movie titles from some of the world’s leading studios. It adds meaningfully to a growing library of movies and TV shows that can be watched instantly on TVs via a range of leading consumer electronic devices capable of streaming from Netflix and on computers.”
"Adding EPIX to our growing library of streaming content, as the exclusive Internet-only distributor of this great content, marks the continued emergence of Netflix as a leader in entertainment delivered over the Web,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. "The EPIX deal is an example of the innovative ways in which we’re partnering with major content providers to broaden the scope and freshness of choices available to our members to watch instantly over the Internet.”
EPIX President Mark Greenberg added, “Netflix is an incredibly popular service, and we welcome them as our newest distribution partner. We are pleased to be able to continue our mission of bringing consumers the movies where they want to watch them, while satisfying the differing needs of cable, telco and satellite operators. This deal also underscores the tremendous value of our offerings in the marketplace.”
Right now, Netflix subscribers pay $8.99 a month to watch unlimited TV episodes and movies streamed to their TVs and computers, and they can order unlimited DVDs delivered to their homes. Whether pricing will change regarding the new releases from EPIX is unknown.