Netflix, Warner Bros. Television Sign TV Drama Slate Deal

"Revolution"
"Revolution"
 NBCUniversal

Netflix and Time Warner's Warner Bros. Television Group on Monday unveiled a licensing agreement that will give U.S. Netflix subscribers access to complete previous seasons of serialized dramas produced by Warner, including NBC's Revolution.

The agreement, which will make Netflix the exclusive subscription VOD home for complete prior seasons of shows from the 2012-13 season, covers a current slate of eight Warner Bros. shows and potential future shows, the companies said.

Warner Bros. previously has struck deals with Netflix that mostly cover older library TV content, but the new arrangement will put shows on the streaming site with only about a year's delay. The deal is the latest Netflix agreement with the entertainment giant as Warner Bros. seems to have become more open to making content available on the subscription service in delayed windows after Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes a couple of years ago had compared the streaming video platform to the Albanian Army. Late last year, Warner Bros. struck Netflix TV show licensing deals for Canada and the U.K., and Bewkes signaled more deals were likely.

The 2012-13 drama slate deal also includes ABC's canceled supernatural thriller 666 Park Avenue, starring Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams; Political Animals, the USA Network miniseries with Sigourney Weaver as a former first lady serving as Secretary of State; and Longmire, A&E's top-rated Western mystery series.

Warner Bros. said it is keeping the rights to sell the shows into traditional syndication windows, as well as offer them for electronic sell-through and on a catch-up basis for recently aired episodes of the series.

Also coming to Netflix under the deal will be Fox's upcoming drama The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer, which premieres Jan. 21, as well as such Warner Bros. Television series as Chuck, Fringe and The West Wing.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

"This unprecedented agreement brings to Netflix members earlier and more exclusively than ever before complete previous seasons of some of the most prominent and successful shows on network and cable television," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. "Through deals like this, Netflix is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love."

Said Warner Bros. Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum: "SVOD has become an important window for our serialized dramas, allowing viewers a chance to discover a series that before might have been intimidating to tune into mid-run. We continue to adapt our business models to include SVOD when it makes sense for the long-term value of each show and are thrilled to have Netflix as one of our distribution partners."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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