Netflix Makes Deal With The Weinstein Company To Stream Movies Before They Go To Pay TV

By Eric Eisenberg 2012-02-21 19:50:16discussion comments
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Back in September Netflix completed a major deal with DreamWorks Animation. For years the studio had a deal with HBO in which the network would get first run of all of DreamWorks Animation films starting in 2013. It was the first time in history that a studio decided to go with an internet streaming service over a pay-TV station, and it was predicted back then that other companies could make similar deals. According to the Associated Press, that has now happened.

The Weinstein Company has completed a deal with Netflix that will give the online streaming network first dibs on all of the studio's upcoming releases. The contract is described as a multiyear deal, but it doesn't say just how long it will last. One of the elements that makes this such a notable story is that one of the films included in the deal is Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, which is currently considered this year's frontrunner in multiple Academy Award categories, including Best Picture and Best Director. This news couldn't have come at a better time for the company. Next week the internet service will be losing a large chunk of their content as their three-year deal with Starz Entertainment is set to expire.

The AP story notes that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously identified HBO as their biggest rival in the next decade and in that respect this is a major power play. There's a very good chance that the Weinstein Company won't be the last studio to make a deal like this with Netflix or another streaming company, which means that the likes of HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and other premium channels are going to need to start getting creative.
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