Netflix, DreamWorks Animation Finalize Streaming Deal

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DreamWorks Animation and Netflix have finalized a streaming rights deal for DWA films and TV specials, the New York Times reported late Sunday.

The new deal -- which is reportedly worth $30 million per movie to DWA over an unspecified time period -- essentially replaces the animation studio's film output pact with HBO, which expired in 2014; the Times reports that the network let DWA out of its contract two years early.

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The new deal, which has been in the works for months, is being touted as the first time a major Hollywood content provider has chosen Web streaming over pay TV.

“We are really starting to see a long-term road map of where the industry is headed,” DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg told the Times. “This is a game-changing deal.”

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added: “You’re seeing power moving back into the hands of content creators. When a company like DreamWorks ends a long-running pay TV deal — when a new buyer in the space steps up -- that’s a really interesting landscape shift.”

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The deal will see Netflix begin streaming DWA movies starting in 2013. The studio is releasing three movies that year: prehistoric-themed The Croods; Turbo, which centers on a snail; and Peabody & Sherman, featuring the famous Rocky and Bullwinkle characters.

According to the Times, library titles like Kung Fu Panda and Antz also are part of the deal and will become available at a later date.

Analysts have predicted that Netflix would push for more streaming content deals in the face of increased competition from Apple, Amazon, Blockbuster and Vudu, while they have said that DWA may look for new ways to make money off its content. 

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