Netflix Lets Epix Deal Expire As Hulu Enters Multi-Year Agreement

Chris CrumBusiness

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Netflix announced that it has decided not to renew an agreement in the US with cable network Epix, which means it is dropping a bunch of big-name movies from its offering. Hulu is picking up where Netflix left off, announcing a multi-year deal with the channel.

Netflix, anticipating user frustration, put out a blog post explaining its reasoning, and what it boils down to is basically a focus on putting out content that is exclusive to Netflix, and that includes "a robust slate of original movies" from stars and directors like Brad Pitt, Ricky Gervais, Judd Apatow, Angelina Jolie, Sofia Coppola, and Adam Sandler.

The movies from the Epix deal will expire on Netflix at the end of September. These include titles like Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Read this for titles Netflix is adding and dropping in September.

"While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing period," writes Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you."

Netlix's slate of original movies includes: Beasts of No Nation (October), Ridiculous Six (December), A Very Murray Christmas (December), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Green Legend (Early 2016), and Pee-Wee's Big Holiday (Early 2016).

"We also have some great family films coming your way, including Minions, Hotel Transylvania 2, and Home through arrangements with Sony Pictures Animation, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation," Sarandos says. "Starting next year, we will be the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest theatrical movies from the The Walt Disney Company, including Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel movies. The majority of these films will arrive on Netflix faster than traditional arrangements had previously allowed."

That's pretty huge.

Hulu's deal will see the service adding new releases from Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount beginning October 1. At launch, it will include Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z, Wolf of Wall Street, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Robocop, and God’s Not Dead. Read Hulu's announcement for additional titles that it will get.

“Hulu already offers some of the best and biggest titles in television programming, but our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films,” said Craig Erwich, SVP, Head of Content at Hulu. “This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming.”

“Hulu has become one of the most popular premium streaming services and Epix’s agreement is evidence of their understanding of the value that our blockbuster Hollywood films, deep library of classic film titles and original programming brings to consumers,” said Mark Greenberg, President and CEO of Epix. “We are excited to be partnering with Hulu, and share their commitment to providing viewers a truly premium experience, particularly as we enter the next phase of our network’s growth and development.”

Hulu will continue to roll out new titles, library films, and original programming from Epix through each year of the deal. All new theatrical releases and original programming will be available during its digital streaming window, which begins 90 days after the start of the traditional pay TV window.

Image via Netflix

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.