Netflix announced separate agreements with CBS and Disney-ABC Television Group that will allow current season episodes of a number of today’s most popular TV shows to be streamed at Netflix. The two deals add to a growing library of 12,000 choices that Netflix members can watch instantly on their PCs and TVs as part of their existing subscription plans and without impacting the number of DVDs they receive.
The CBS deal brings to Netflix "CSI." Starting in October, when it returns for a ninth year, current season episodes of the original "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" can be instantly streamed at Netflix. Beginning this week, current season episodes of the hit spin-offs "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY" join the roster. The CBS agreement includes two additional current hit shows, "NCIS," which dramatizes the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and the FBI drama "Numb3rs," from producers Ridley and Tony Scott. "NCIS" returns for its sixth season this week and "Numb3rs" is back for a fifth season in October.
The agreement for Disney Channel content centers on three of the Channel’s original series — "Hannah Montana," "Wizards of Waverly Place," and Disney Channel’s newest original series, "The Suite Life on Deck," a spin-off of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." The series premieres 9/26. "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "The Suite Life on Deck" can be streamed instantly at Netflix beginning this week, 24 hours after each episode’s initial broadcast. Disney Channel’s comedy series "Hannah Montana" will be available online at Netflix beginning this November.
Netflix launched the instant streaming component of its service 18 months ago and is a significant addition to the company’s lineup of studio and network partners.
The agreements also add catalog shows to the library of choices that can be watched instantly at Netflix. Some 500 episodes from Disney Channel’s kid-driven, family-inclusive programming library, including previously aired episodes of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Hannah Montana," as well as episodes of the popular animated series "The Replacements," "Lilo & Stitch: The Series," "The Emperor’s New School" and many others, will come online to Netflix beginning in 2009.
Some 350 CBS episodes covered in the deal include prior seasons of the three "CSI" series and "Numb3rs," the first two seasons of the popular "Jericho" series and, among others, episodes from TV classics such as "Star Trek," "MacGyver," and "Family Ties." The catalog episodes will come online this fall.
As Netflix continues to expand the online content it offers its members, the company is also partnering with leaders in consumer electronics to bring to market a growing number of network devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to subscribers’ TVs. The Netflix Player by Roku was introduced in May to strong reviews and Netflix has previously announced plans to instantly stream movies and TV episodes via Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console and LG Electronic’s LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player starting this fall.