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Old 11-08-2011, 05:12 AM
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Default Netflix securing content for UK launch

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Originally Posted by The Guardian
ITV 'in advanced talks' with Netflix over video streaming

Netflix's imminent UK and Ireland launch prompts bidding war for rights to films and TV shows

Mark Sweney guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 8 November 2011 07.18 GMT

Shows such as Downton Abbey could be included in a deal for Netflix to stream ITV archive material. Photograph: Nick Briggs/ITV
ITV is understood to be in advanced discussions with Netflix about an output deal, as the US video streaming service's imminent UK and Ireland launch fuels bidding wars for the digital rights to films and TV shows.

Netflix is thought to be close to agreeing a deal that would allow it to exploit ITV's archive of shows. The US company is also understood to be in talks with Warner Bros in a bid to snatch subscription video-on-demand rights to the Hollywood studio's output from BSkyB, as it looks to beef up its UK film and TV offering.

The US company is said to have held talks with Channel 4 about an output agreement, although negotiations are not thought to be at such an advanced stage as with ITV. Netflix is also believed to be lining up deals with Lionsgate, which has rights to films including Kick Ass, Saw and Rambo, and Momentum Pictures, which has rights to films such as The King's Speech, the trilogy of releases based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium novels and Lost in Translation.

On Monday Netflix announced its first deal in the UK and Ireland market, securing the exclusive rights to films from MGM. This will give Netflix access to titles including Peter Jackson's two-film Hobbit series and the big-screen remake of 1980s police show 21 Jump Street.

The knowledge that Netflix is UK-bound has sparked a race for digital rights among rivals – which include Amazon-owned LoveFilm, BSkyB and Google's YouTube – that is fuelling spiralling deal costs and marks a boom period for movie rights holders.

"While TV shows get massive viewing [on demand] the real money lies in striking deals with rights holders to films," said one source.

Netflix executives are understood to be conducting a round of negotiations to seal UK deals as the clock ticks on what the company has already admitted will be a tough launch into the UK and Ireland in early 2012.

ITV and Netflix have agreed commercial terms and are down to the final stages of sorting out the legal details, according to one source. A second source said there have been "extensive talks" between the two parties, but warned that a deal has not yet been struck and could still fall apart.

"For Netflix a deal would mean a huge marketing partner to help its UK ambitions and for ITV it fits with their strategy of building pay revenue," said one observer.

The last US company in the digital streaming sector that tried to break the UK market – Hulu, the joint venture with partners including News Corp, Disney and NBC Universal – failed in large part due to being unable to strike a deal with the UK's largest commercial broadcaster.

ITV's proposed deal with Netflix is understood to focus on archive programming, not new output airing in the 30-day catchup window on the broadcaster's online ITV Player.

The broadcaster is set to announce some form of micropayment system for the ITV Player early in 2012. A deal with Netflix would help ITV to fulfil chief executive Adam Crozier's aim of reducing the broadcaster's dependence on TV advertising revenue.

ITV had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

One source said Netflix has also held discussions with Channel 4, although they are not believed to be as advanced as those with ITV, although if a deal does emerge it is expected to be sewn up before Christmas. A second source characterised the Channel 4 talks as "a few weeks down the track from where ITV is at".

Netflix is also understood to be trying to secure the first-play rights for Warner Bros subscription video-on-demand films. The rights to films from Warner Bros, one of the six big Hollywood studios and home to the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, are currently held by BSkyB but come up for renegotiation next year.

One source said they believed that Netflix is bidding about £60m a year to secure the rights.

Netflix and Warner Bros had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

LoveFilm recently reached a five-year agreement with Entertainment One, which has rights to films such as vampire franchise the Twilight Saga and Gnomeo & Juliet, in what the company described as a "transformative" deal to build its fledgling online service ahead of the arrival of Netflix.

The Amazon-owned video streaming company is believed to have paid as much as five times the amount forked out by BSkyB last time – about £25m. Initial bids for the Entertainment One output deal were thought to have been in the region of £8m, before a bidding war sent the price spiralling.

Entertainment One said it did not comment on the value of deals. LoveFilm had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

LoveFilm also recently struck a deal with Studio Canal – formerly Optimum Releasing – the distribution company behind movies including Source Code, Attack the Block and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

ITV 'in advanced talks' with Netflix over video streaming


Ray Von
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital Spy
Netflix signs MGM as UK launch content partner
Published Monday, Nov 7 2011, 13:21 GMT | By Andrew Laughlin |

Netflix has agreed a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for its forthcoming UK service, giving subscribers first access to films such as The Hobbit at the same time as Sky.

The US online movies subscription giant plans to expand in the UK and Ireland in early 2012, taking on the Amazon-owned LoveFilm.

Under a multi-year licensing agreement, Netflix will become the exclusive subscription streaming service in the UK and Ireland for most first-run MGM films.

During the pay-TV window (in which Sky Movies shows new release films), Netflix will be able to offer new MGM titles on connected TVs, games consoles, computers and mobile phones.

Appearing exclusively on Netflix within one year of their theatrical release will be The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the prequels to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Netflix will also offer Zookeeper starring Kevin James, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and 21 Jump Street featuring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube.

Alongside the new movies, MGM catalogue titles such as Capote, Fargo, The Usual Suspects, West Side Story and The Amityville Horror will also come to Netflix UK.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said: "We are delighted to be entering the UK and Ireland with a legendary studio like MGM at our side.

"And we are excited to be extending our relationship with MGM from the US to these important markets and proud to be the exclusive home for their films in the traditional pay-TV window."

In a joint statement, MGM co-chairmen and chief executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum added: "We are thrilled to grow our partnership with Netflix as they expand into the UK and Ireland."

Last month, Netflix reported a fall in subscribers in the third quarter of 2011 after customers responded negatively to recent price increases.
Netflix signs MGM as UK launch content partner

I'll be very interested to see what ITV content they get - ITV has made some great shows, but they also have a huge catalogue of crappy daytime TV and soaps, which from what I've read is what most of Netflix's South American content consists of.

The MGM deal is a ray of sunshine for me. They might not be the most produtive studio, but they've certainly got a healthy back catalogue and the reported poaching of exclusivity from LoveFilm is a definate feather in Netflix's cap. Having said that, I know Netflix aren't in the best of health financially and Amazon has much deeper pockets - I don't think it's a coup they'll be able to repeat too often if it puts Amazon/LoveFilm on their guard.

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Old 11-08-2011, 07:19 AM
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Netflix, MGM Ink Exclusive Streaming Deal in the U.K., Ireland
8 Nov, 2011
By: Erik Gruenwedel

Deal includes next year's Hobbit movies and ups the ante in burgeoning subscription VOD land rush in Western Europe between Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm

Netflix and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios have signed a multi-year agreement that will allow Netflix subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland in early 2012 to stream exclusive first-run theatrical movies from the vaunted film studio.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix last month said it would bow streaming service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012 – the service’s first foray into Europe following foreign expansion into Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal ups the ante in burgeoning subscription VOD land rush in Western Europe between Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm. Indeed, it’s noteworthy that the agreement departs from Netflix’s preferred (and less expensive acquisition) strategy to acquire to license content non-exclusively.

Appearing exclusively on Netflix within one year of their theatrical release will be upcoming feature films: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again – the highly-anticipated prequels to the Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson. Other titles include Zookeeper, starring Kevin James, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and 21 Jump Street, featuring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube.

With the Hobbit films co-produced by MGM and New Line -- the latter owned by Warner Bros. and projected to be a much-needed franchise replacement for Harry Potter -- the reality is that Netflix will have exclusive rights to a Warner franchise it would never get in the United States. Instead, the films' domestic rights would likely fall to Warner Home Video and Time Warner-owned HBO, among other non SVOD channels. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey launches theatrically Dec. 14, 2012.

In addition, MGM catalogue titles will also be available, including Capote, Fargo, The Usual Suspects, West Side Story and The Amityville Horror, among others.

“We are excited to be extending our relationship with MGM from the U.S. to these important markets and proud to be the exclusive home for their films in the traditional Pay TV window,” said Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos in a statement.


http://www.homemediamagazine.com/net...-ireland-25580
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray Von View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Spy
Netflix has agreed a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for its forthcoming UK service, giving subscribers first access to films such as The Hobbit at the same time as Sky.

The US online movies subscription giant plans to expand in the UK and Ireland in early 2012, taking on the Amazon-owned LoveFilm.

Under a multi-year licensing agreement, Netflix will become the exclusive subscription streaming service in the UK and Ireland for most first-run MGM films.
Netflix signs MGM as UK launch content partner

I'll be very interested to see what ITV content they get - ITV has made some great shows, but they also have a huge catalogue of crappy daytime TV and soaps, which from what I've read is what most of Netflix's South American content consists of.

The MGM deal is a ray of sunshine for me. They might not be the most produtive studio, but they've certainly got a healthy back catalogue and the reported poaching of exclusivity from LoveFilm is a definate feather in Netflix's cap. Having said that, I know Netflix aren't in the best of health financially and Amazon has much deeper pockets - I don't think it's a coup they'll be able to repeat too often if it puts Amazon/LoveFilm on their guard.

Ray Von
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Originally Posted by Kosty View Post
Quote:
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal ups the ante in burgeoning subscription VOD land rush in Western Europe between Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm. Indeed, it’s noteworthy that the agreement departs from Netflix’s preferred (and less expensive acquisition) strategy to acquire to license content non-exclusively.

Appearing exclusively on Netflix within one year of their theatrical release will be upcoming feature films: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again – the highly-anticipated prequels to the Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson. Other titles include Zookeeper, starring Kevin James, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and 21 Jump Street, featuring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube.

With the Hobbit films co-produced by MGM and New Line -- the latter owned by Warner Bros. and projected to be a much-needed franchise replacement for Harry Potter -- the reality is that Netflix will have exclusive rights to a Warner franchise it would never get in the United States. Instead, the films' domestic rights would likely fall to Warner Home Video and Time Warner-owned HBO, among other non SVOD channels. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey launches theatrically Dec. 14, 2012.
http://www.homemediamagazine.com/net...-ireland-25580
A smart move by Netflix. The exclusivity rights will help secure a large subscriber base in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, as they launch their services abroad. I agree with Ray Von, these deals won't be something Netflix can duplicate repeatedly, in light of increasing acquisition costs. As such, it makes sense for Netflix to lock in these exclusivities, especially to major films, as they go head-to-head with Amazon.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:27 PM
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Lovefilm have just lowered their prices. First I knew was when I checked my queue last night and found my 3 disks with unlimited streaming plan had mysteriously changed to 4 disks, then noticed that I could downgrade to 3 disks and save about 20%. Since it warns me I won't be able to get back to the 4 disk plan (and my queue is chocker-block) I'll stay where I am.

I don't know if this is in preparation for Netflix's launch over here early next year, but it's certainly refreshing to see a company reducing prices.

Lovefilm's cheapest unlimited streaming plan (and therefore the closest for comparison to Netflix) is now £9.99/month with unlimited DVDs/Blu-Rays (2 out), down from £13. Another £1.25 adds PS3/360/Wii disk rentals.

I'll be interested to see where Netflix now set their UK pricing. Looking at other Netflix markets they seem to charge about US$8 in local currency, but they may have been planning to take advantage of the UK consumer being used to accepting higher comparative prices, anything above £5 or £6 now looks a bit optimistic, £8 would be very poor indeed.

Here's one of the few articles I could find on the price drop:-

Quote:
LOVEFILM cut the cost of some of their most popular DVD rental deals last night.

An unlimited number of films a month, with two discs at home at a time, is now £9.99 a month.

That's a price cut of almost 25%, from £13.27.

New customers will be able to take advantage of the lower prices from today and, Lovefilm told us, the process of migrating existing subscribers to cheaper deals is "already underway".

Other price cuts are as follows:

•Unlimited DVD rentals, 3 discs at home: £13.27 (not an option previously)
•Unlimited DVD and game rental, 2 discs at home: £11.22 (was £14.99)
•Unlimited DVD and game rental, 3 discs at home: £14.99 (was £19.39)


The price change has already been applied to Lovefilm-powered Sofa Cinema, a Guardian site which has increasingly lost its own brand identity over the past few months.

Tesco DVD rental, also powered by Lovefilm, has yet to change its prices but we expect them to be cut just lower than Lovefilm's in line with the current agreement between the two. Watch this space.
LoveFilm slash unlimited DVD rental prices

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Techradar
Lovefilm has announced that it has signed a deal with Warner Bros, which gives the service a boatload of exclusive movie content.

The link-up comes just days after a number of high-profile signings by Netflix – MGM, Miramax and Lionsgate – the US movie service that's set to enter the UK market in early 2012.

The deal with Warners proves that Lovefilm is not taking Netflix's arrival lying down and means that when it comes to streaming, Lovefilm now has exclusivity for movies such as The Dark Knight, The Hangover, Gran Torino and Sex and the City 2.

Significant deal

Speaking about the new deal, Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros UK, Ireland and Spain said: "This significant deal with Lovefilm and its parent company Amazon takes a 360 degree approach to delivering Warner Bros' world class movies across multiple business lines.

"Now, Lovefilm customers will enjoy more ways of enjoying great film content, all with the ease that the service has become known for."

The significant part of this deal is that Warner Bros has created something called a "second pay window" which means that the big studios are finally taking movie streaming seriously and seeing it as a viable source of income, rather than an afterthought.

If successful, this should pave the way for a smaller window between movies being released on Blu-ray and made available for streaming.
LoveFilm hits back at Netflix with Warners streaming deal

First the 20-25% price cut, and now this, it certainly looks like LoveFilm isn't just going to wait for Netflix to walk in and eat their lunch.

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