Disney and Netflix Sign Wide-Ranging Digital Distribution Deal

The Walt Disney Company and Netflix have signed a new, multi-year deal which will, among other things, make Netflix the first place you can stream or rent the studio's top-tier theatrical releases starting in 2016.

"Beginning with its 2016 theatrically released feature films, new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature titles will be made available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the pay TV window on multiple platforms, including television, tablets, computers and mobile phones. Also included in the agreement are high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made available on Netflix starting in 2013," Disney announced.

This won't affect any of the currently-announced Marvel titles (at least as far as the pay TV aspect is concerned) but the Phase Three titles, expected to include Black Panther, Doctor Strange and sequels to The Avengers and other existing Marvel franchises, will be part of the deal. It will also affect Star Wars Episode VII and Star Wars Episode IX.

The deal will also see the release beginning in 2013 of direct-to-video Disney content to Netflix first and a deepening of the Disney catalog titles, including classic animated titles, that the streaming video service carries. Netflix fancies itself a burgeoning TV network in its own right, launching a number of series including David Fincher's House of Cards and Steven Van Zandt's Lilyhammer. Starting in 2013, they'll also be streaming new episodes of Fox's long-cancelled Arrested Development.


“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”

“With this cutting-edge agreement, we are thrilled to take our highly valued relationship with Netflix to the next level by adding Disney’s premier films to their programming line-up,” said Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Netflix continues to meet the demands of its subscribers in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, and we are delighted that they will have much earlier access to our top-quality and entertaining slate.”