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Disney makes exclusive deal with Netflix

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Dec 5, 2012 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Walt Disney Studios has made an exclusive deal with Netflix to carry the Disney films; currently Starz owns those rights. Normally, the large Hollywood studios show their movies on pay TV, such as Starz, HBO or Showtime; this is the first time one of the studios has gone exclusively with web streaming. Netflix currently has deals with DreamWorks Animation and the Weinstein Company, but the addition of movie giant Disney is a huge gain for the company.

Disney titles will be available immediately; new release Disney films will be available for streaming in 2016. The deal also includes films upcoming films from the newly-acquired Lucasfilm and direct-to-DVD movies.

No financial information on the deal was released, but some speculate that Disney could be earning $300 million a year from the agreement.

The deal is not so good for Starz. They do have films available from Sony, but the channel's offerings will diminish greatly with the loss of Disney. Interestingly, Starz released a statement this week stating that the break-up with Disney was their decision, not Disney's. "Our decision not to extend the agreement for Disney output past that time allows us the opportunity to implement our plan to dramatically ramp up our investment in exclusive, premium-quality original series, which will best meet the needs of our distributors and subscribers," the company said in the statement.