A new deal will have Disney running their recent theatrical releases via Netflix Instant, turning the rental service's streaming option into something closer to cable TV.
If you were watching Disney content through Netflix Instant since February, it was through a deal where STARZ would grant Netflix the rights to Disney's content (Disney features were also in regular rotation on STARZ's cable networks). But that deal is no more and Disney is dealing exclusively through Netflix in delivering their streamed content to the masses.
Between this deal and an earlier agreement to stream the Dreamworks catalog, and their increased dabbling in original programming, Netflix is starting to shape up into something like pay TV a la HBO or Showtime. Under the agreement, Netflix will have the rights to stream Disney's live-action and animated features around seven months after their theatrical run. The agreement will kick in in 2016 after the conclusion of the STARZ deal.
According to The Associated Press, the full details of the agreement haven't been disclosed, but outside analysts are suggesting that it could mean a payout of $350 million yearly to the Walt Disney Company. THe big question is how much longer Netflix can go paying out the big dollars for these deals without jacking up their rates again--going forward, they'll need more subscribers, so expect to start seeing more ads on TV and all up in your browser in the coming months.
[Source: The AP]