Epix in 5-year online rights deal with Netflix

MUMBAI: Pay-TV channel Epix is in a five-year online rights agreement with Netflix. Netflix will get exclusive online rights to films from Epix‘s three equity partners, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Netflix is expected to cough out $1 billion to Epix as licensing fees for the full five-year term that will bring the channel closer to its goal of breaking even by 2011.
The arrangement would also allow subscribers of Netflix to watch films such as Iron Man 2, Dinner for Schmucks and this week‘s release The Expendables through the company‘s internet streaming service.

With this, Netflix, best known for its DVD-by-mail business, would become a formidable competitor to Time Warner‘s dominant pay channel Home Box Office that has films from Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures in its basket. 
Netflix has been investing a huge sum to acquire content for its streaming video service. It already has a deal with Liberty Media‘s pay channel Starz that provides films from Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures. It recently also acquired exclusive pay-TV window rights for films produced by Relativity Media.
Now the question before the two companies is when exactly Epix would allow Netflix to start streaming its films. It is being said that this would happen some time after Epix starts airing new films a few months after they launch them on DVD.

The agreement would allow Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM to sell and rent their movies via digital stores such as Apple Inc.‘s iTunes.

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