Netflix will have a raft of US series and movies on its upcoming UK service after securing content from several of the Hollywood studios, TBI understands.
The US company is understood to have lined up programming from US studios including Disney, Fox, Paramount and Sony.
The deals now in place will allow Netflix to roll out in the UK with a roster of US TV shows and movies including 24, Breaking Bad and Damages. There will also be movie content from the studios with catalogue titles such as Paul Blart: Mall Cop expected to be available from the service’s UK launch, which is slated for early this year.
Netflix has already announced deals with US content providers Lionsgate, Miramax and MGM and an agreement with BBC Worldwide for series including Spooks and Torchwood and it has been busy negotiating deals with other suppliers.
The large Hollywood studios all have programming deals with pay TV platform BSkyB, which gets first pick of their content in the first pay TV window. The studios can then sell library and other content to Netflix and similar services. Sony and Warner Bros., for example, both inked deals with LoveFilm late last year and Disney also has an agreement with the Amazon-owned streaming and delivery service. The studios typically ink digital deals on a non-exclusive basis, freeing them to make agreements with multiple partners.
Several UK producers and distributors are also thought to have inked deals with Netflix although the line-up of UK programming, outside that already announced, is not yet clear.
After a stormy 2011 in which price hikes and the potential spin-off of its DVD delivery business hit its share price and caused subscribers to churn, Netflix has got off to a good start in 2011. Its shares rose sharply earlier this week after it said that two billion hours of content were streamed by its 21.5 million US customers in the fourth quarter – which far exceeded expectations. It will announce 4Q11 and full-year results on January 25.