Media

Netflix’s licensing deal with Weinstein Company should make HBO flinch

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Streaming video service Netflix has finalized a new content deal with film studio The Weinstein Company that brings a new crop of foreign language, documentary, and critically acclaimed movies to U.S. subscribers, the companies announced today.

Under the deal, many new films will appear on Netflix exclusively within one year of their theatrical release. Some of those films include French-language World War II drama Sarah’s Key, The Intouchables, Madonna’s Golden Globe winner W.E., Coriolanus, documentary Bully, and 2012 Academy Award nominee The Artist.

The deal is of significant importance to Netflix because many of these films usually make their first non-theatrical debut on premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz. This also goes a long way toward proving just how big of a threat Netflix may prove for those premium channels in the future.

Netflix has stated on multiple occasions that it views companies like HBO as its biggest competitor, rather than comparable streaming video services like Hulu and Amazon’s Prime offering. And like HBO, the company is rolling full steam ahead with its own original content strategy. Additionally, Netflix eventually wants to be nearly three times as large as HBO with 60 million to 90 million domestic subscribers, according to a recent presentation published by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has gobbled up a content licensing deal that normally would go to premium cable channels. In September, Netflix announced a deal with Dreamworks Animation, which was previously held exclusively by HBO.

The Artist image: The Weinstein Company