In a shot against pay-TV channels such as HBO and Showtime, Netflix announced today that it has signed a five-year-plus distribution deal with Relativity Media. The deal will allow Netflix to stream major motion pictures from Relativity ahead of traditional pay-TV channels, and is the first of its kind that Netflix has signed. Recent Relativity films include Dear John, MacGruber and The Spy Next Door.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said the following about the deal:
“It would be my preference that the pay channels all supply us their films, but this is an example of the other way to get there, which is to compete with those guys,”
Ryan Kavanaugh, head of Relativity studios, offered the following:
“This is very similar to the kind of deal that gets made with HBO or Showtime, but it has characteristics that we feel make this a better all around structure,”
One of the “characteristics” that Kavanaugh lauds may be the fact that, unlike most pay channel deals, Relativity will continue to be allowed to rent and sell its movies digitally and through gaming consoles.
Will this pact open the floodgates for similar deals between content creators and distributors? Relativity is not the biggest player in town, but could a larger studio take note of this deal and be the next to ink a distribution agreement with Netflix?
(via the L.A. Times)