'The Walking Dead' Coming Exclusively to Netflix Under Multi-Year Streaming Deal


Prior seasons of the AMC original series will be available exclusively to Netflix subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, while the streaming service also got non-exclusive rights to other shows from AMC Networks, such as IFC's "Portlandia" and WE tv's "Braxton Family Values."

NEW YORK - Netflix and cable networks operator AMC Networks on Friday unveiled a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring content from AMC and other channels to Netflix's streaming service.

The deal covers prior seasons of AMC’s original series The Walking Dead, which will be available exclusively to Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada. Season 1 of The Walking Dead will be available as of Friday. AMC previously struck streaming deals for its other hit shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad with Netflix. 

Under the new arrangement, additional seasons of The Walking Dead and certain future AMC and Sundance Channel programming will be streaming instantly to Netflix members just prior to the premiere of subsequent seasons, the companies said.

Netflix has also licensed non-exclusive rights in the U.S. to select scripted and unscripted AMC Networks shows, which will also be made available just before the following season debut. This includes series from AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv, such as Portlandia, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Braxton Family Values, My Fair Wedding, Bridezillas, All On The Line with Joe Zee and Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.

The companies didn't disclose financial details of the arrangement.

“Netflix is already the streaming home of Mad Men and Breaking Bad in the U.S. and Latin America,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. “AMC’s programming sensibilities have struck a chord with our members and with the overall viewing public.”

AMC Networks president and CEO Josh Sapan said: “This agreement supports the cable "ecosystem" by making our content available to Netflix nearly a year following the linear premiere, it brings our content to a wider audience, and it provides additional revenue to support production of new shows."

Appearing Friday at a New York conference organized by CTAM, the Cable & Telecomnunications Associationfor Marketing, Sapan further emphasized how careful AMC Networks has been about digital distribution deals. He said the company was "probably more deliberate and slower to move than others." Calling the Netflix deal terms "a sensible approach," he highlighted that his team did speak to TV distributors to get a feel for how a deal would go over with them.

Overall, Sapan said the Netflix arrangement creates a "digital syndication window" that allows AMC Networks to get additional revenue from Netflix, while also protecting the firm's relationship with pay TV providers.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai