As previously reported, Netflix announced today that it has a new deal with Warner Bros., which will see some of the studio's television programming come to the popular streaming service.
This is great news for Netflix subscribers, because there's a lot of content from Universal that Netflix won't be getting in its streaming catalog anytime soon. HBO just announced a 10-year exclusivity extension of its deal with Universal. This should at least keep Netflix's DVD division in business, because it's not likely that the company will simply want to do without that major content.
Of course, Netflix is also working on its own catalog of exclusive programming, which should help secure its place on the list of viable entertainment options for the long term. They already have the original show Lilyhammer, and next month will debut David Lynch's House of Cards. Later this year (possibly in May), Netflix will also launch the return of the beloved television series Arrested Development, and has a show called Hemlock Grove coming sometime in the near future from Cabin Fever/Hostel Director Eli Roth.
Still, Netflix needs the non-original stuff too to keep subscribers from turning to competitors, and deals like today's Warner Bros. announcement are critical. Subscribers can expect to gain access to shows like Revolution, Political Animals, 666 Park Avenue, and The Following to name a few.
Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, said, “This unprecedented agreement brings to Netflix members earlier and more exclusively than ever before complete previous seasons of some of the most prominent and successful shows on network and cable television. Through deals like this, Netflix is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love.”
Warner Bros. Television Group President Bruce added, "SVOD has become an important window for our serialized dramas, allowing viewers a chance to discover a series that before might have been intimidating to tune into mid-run. 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.”
Competition isn't getting any lighter for Netflix. Redbox has only recently started accepting members into Redbox Instant, which in addition to unlimited views of streaming online content, offers users 4 DVD kiosk credits per month. The online catalog, however, is weak at best, at this point, but it will no doubt grow as future content deals are made. Right now, it does not offer streaming television shows, and this new Netflix Warner Bros. deal only makes Netflix that much better an option for TV lovers.