Netflix signs exclusive Disney streaming deal


Netflix customers will be able to stream a wide assortment of movies from Disney and its studios—but it won’t be for years. That means pay-cable network Starz will no longer carry those films. Starting with Disney’s 2016 feature films, Netflix customers will be able to stream a catalog of titles from Disney and four of its subsidiaries: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature, reported CNN/Money.

Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for Disney’s new releases in the deal as well.

NetflixIronically, Netflix’s contract with Starz expired in February after deal-renewal negotiations fell apart. Starz currently licenses many Disney films, in addition to titles from several other studios.

Moody’s reacted on the news: “The agreement is a credit
negative development for Starz that highlights its vulnerability in the evolving content distribution landscape and could create downward pressure on Starz’s ratings.”

Netflix’s 2016 exclusivity with Disney will also keep other streaming services like Amazon Prime from signing their own Disney contracts.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told CNN/Money it will set Netflix back about $300 million per year.

No word for sure if the deal will include future Star Wars titles from Lucasfilm, which Disney agreed in October to buy for $4 billion. Disney is targeting a 2015 release of “Star Wars” Episode 7.

Starz spokesman noted: “Given the targeted 2015 release date for Star Wars Episode 7, that would go to Starz.”

See the CNN/Money story here.