This is the clearest sign yet of the thaw in the companies’ once-frosty relationship — and could intensify industry concerns about whether Netflix will cannibalize ad-supported TV. Warner Bros Television Group has agreed to license complete previous seasons of serialized dramas including Revolution, Political Animals, Longmire, 666 Park Avenue — and The Following, which debuts this month on Fox. Netflix also landed Chuck, Fringe and The West Wing. The companies say that in addition to these eight shows, Warner Bros may also make available “potential future shows.” Warners reserved the right to sell the programs into traditional syndication windows, via electronic sell-through services and on a catch-up basis for recently aired episodes. But Netflix has exclusive rights to subscription streaming. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos calls it an “unprecedented agreement” that “is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love.” And Warner Bros Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum says that the agreement recognizes that subscription VOD “has become an important window for our serialized dramas,” especially for viewers who want to catch up with a series. “We continue to adapt our business models to include SVOD when it makes sense for the long-term value of each show and are thrilled to have Netflix as one of our distribution partners.” This is a big change over the two years since Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes derisively likened Netflix to the Albanian Army. In November, Warner Bros licensed series including The Vampire Diaries, Fringe and Pretty Little Liars to Netflix’s Canadian service.
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