Netflix Strikes $200 Million Streaming Deal With Disney, ABC

Hulu might be known for its television offerings, but Netflix is certainly catching up.

Today, the online streaming (and DVD-by-mail) company announced an estimated $200 million deal with Disney and ABC that gives Netflix subscribers access to an array of hit shows on the networks' channels. Prior seasons of Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives will be available for the first time online; every episode of Lost, Ugly Betty, and many other shows will also be available for streaming. For more current programming, shows will be available on Netflix no earlier than 15 days after the initial telecast.

This deal is likely where Netflix has been spending its cash. Last week, it surfaced that the company was willing to drop between $70,000 to $100,000 per episode of primetime TV.

It's all part of Netflix's plan to distance itself from its by-mail service, expand its online library of content, and take aim at competitor Hulu.

"As Netflix transforms into a streaming company, my team is focused more and more on acquiring content for our members to watch instantly," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, in a company statement Wednesday.

Indeed, the company has also struck big deals for online content with Epix and Relativity Media. Last month, it finally introduced a streaming-only service at a monthly cost of $7.99—coincidentally the exact same price of a Hulu Plus membership.

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  • Sheila Seles

    Every day it seems that Hulu and Netflix are getting closer to becoming a viable alternative for MSO television subscriptions. A focus on UX and quality content puts Hulu and Netflix head and shoulders above the slow, limited VoD systems the MSOs are trying to make happen. This deal between Netflix and ABC also shows that the networks are seriously testing the waters around alternative TV content delivery. Hulu on a PC is one thing, but Netflix on at TV (the same TV you use to watch ABC’s broadcasts) is a step away from traditional MSO deals. It’s going to be fascinating to see if (and how fast) Hulu and Netflix can turn MSOs into dumb pipes.

  • Isaac

    ABC and Disney is interesting. When is ESPN going to become available... Real time sports seems to be the single item that keeps people tethered to cable companies...