American users of the growing internet television service Netflix will be the first to be able to view new Disney releases post-cinema from 2016. The deal, which includes future releases from Marvel and Pixar, will also include all but the first of the new Star Wars movies released as a result of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm – The first due for release before the commencement of the deal. Once upon a time, such pay-TV rights belonged to US Subscription channel Starz.
“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,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, who have also recently acquired a similar deal from Dreamworks productions. Indeed, the technology has moved on significantly from the days of Steamboat Willie. Whether this deal will at some stage be extended to users in the UK remains to be seen, but regardless, this marks a hugely ambitious attempt by Netflix to increase, improve and expand their service.
Despite the exact cost of the deal being as of yet unconfirmed, concerns have already began to surface with regards to Netflix’s ability to finance this investment, and that this deal could perhaps be more poisoned apple than storybook romance. Some experts are now suggesting that this deal has left Netflix at a standing somewhat akin to Bambi on ice – just waiting to watch it fall. Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities told Associated Press news that these “These costs are going to sink Netflix”.
Share prices in Netflix rose 14% following this announcement, leaving shareholders in Wonderland, and suggesting that the markets believe that this deal could see Netflix and Disney live happily ever after.