Dec 4 Walt Disney Co agreed to give
Netflix exclusive TV distribution rights to its movies,
becoming the first major studio to stream its movies to TV
viewers via Netflix instead of distributing them to HBO,
Showtime or other premium TV channels.
The agreement begins in 2016, after Disney's current deal
with Liberty Media's pay-TV channel Starz expires.
The deal gives Netflix streaming rights to movies from
Disney's live action and animation studios, including those from
Pixar, Marvel, and the recently acquired Lucasfilms. Disney
bought the famed studio founded by George Lucas and responsible
for the "Star Wars" franchise for $4 billion on Oct. 30.
Movies from Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studios are not
included in the deal, as that studio distributes its movies
through CBS's Showtime on TV. Disney recently signed a
deal to distribute DreamWorks' films theatrically after the
studio's deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures expired.
Under the deal's terms, Netflix can stream Disney movies
beginning seven to nine months after they appear in theaters, as
Starz had done in Disney's prior agreement. The deal does not
cover DVD rentals of Disney movies.
The agreement follows similar deals Netflix has inked with
smaller studios, including Relativity Media, The Weinstein
company and DreamWorks Animation.
Netflix shares were up 12.9 percent to $85.83 in afternoon
trading following news of the agreement.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover; Editing by Peter Lauria and Tim