Netflix strikes deal to stream first-run movies, elbows in on the pay TV release window

Summary:Netflix has inked a deal with FilmDistrict, a production, distribution and financing company, to stream first-run movies as pay TV gets them, typically a few months after a DVD release.

Netflix said Wednesday that it has inked a deal with FilmDistrict, a production, distribution and financing company, to stream first-run movies as pay TV gets them, typically a few months after a DVD release.

With the move, Netflix is working to bring streaming more into the traditional release window set-up. Movies typically go to theaters, then DVD, then pay TV and often streaming last. Netflix has been creative about cutting deals to bring more new releases to streaming.

Under the deal, movies that would have been licensed to pay cable channels will now go to Netflix for streaming. Movies to be included are "Drive" and "Lockout."

The move is notable because now it's readily apparent that Netflix is competing with premium cable channels.

In addition, the FilmDistrict deal works to eliminate the one knock on Netflix's streaming service---the lack of new titles.

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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