UPDATE, 1:15 PM: Netflix shares closed up more than 14% today after the deal was announced, while Disney shares were flat. Analysts lauded the tie-up from Netflix’s perspective, with Vasily Karasyov at Susquehanna International Group saying the deal moves the online movie service one step closer to becoming HBO with its exclusive windows (the service inked a similar deal in September 2011 with DreamWorks Animation). Stifel Nicolaus noted that the deal did not include a DVD component, saying “the embrace of SVOD as a pay-TV replacement is somewhat of an acknowledgment that the need to protect the DVD window no longer makes as much sense as it once did.”
PREVIOUS, 10:55 AM: Today’s deal will make Netflix the first pay-TV window for live-action and animated feature films from Disney beginning with 2016’s theatrical releases. A separate catalog agreement also was made. The pact begins with Disney films released theatrically in 2016; direct-to-video titles will hit the service beginning next year. Disney titles haven’t been available on the online movie service since the February, when Netflix’s deal with Starz — which included rights to stream newer Disney and Sony movies — expired after negotiations broke down.
Beverly Hills, Ca. and Burbank, Ca. –December 4, 2012—Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios.
Beginning with its 2016 theatrically released feature films, new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature titles will be made available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the pay TV window on multiple platforms, including television, tablets, computers and mobile phones. Also included in the agreement are high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made available on Netflix starting in 2013.
Separately, Disney and Netflix have reached agreement on a multi-year catalog deal that today brings to U.S. Netflix members such beloved Disney movies such as “Dumbo,” “Pocahontas” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”
“With this cutting-edge agreement, we are thrilled to take our highly valued relationship with Netflix to the next level by adding Disney’s premier films to their programming line-up,” said Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Netflix continues to meet the demands of its subscribers in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, and we are delighted that they will have much earlier access to our top-quality and entertaining slate,” she continued.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.