NBCU Renews Netflix Pact - Multichannel

NBCU Renews Netflix Pact

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Netflix extended its licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution for movies, and cable and broadcast TV shows -- for past seasons only across all shows, including Saturday Night Live -- available for streaming over the Internet.

The news comes a day after Netflix announced it will eliminate DVD-plus-Internet streaming plans, effectively a price hike as much as 60% for customers who want both services. Analysts see the move as an attempt to drive subscribers toward Netflix's more profitable streaming-only plan.

Shows from NBCU's cable networks available via Netflix's Watch Instantly feature include prior-season episodes of Warehouse 13, Psych, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.

On the broadcast side, the deal includes prior-season series of The Office, 30 Rock, Parenthood, Law and Order: SVU and The Event. All future seasons of NBC shows will be available on Netflix on a one-season-delay basis.

Also coming to Netflix are older series such as Leave it to Beaver, Adam 12 and Crossing Jordan and Universal Pictures movies including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Motorcycle Diaries.

The companies announced a deal last fall, which brought shows from USA and Syfy to Netflix for the first time, and was to have provided episodes of Saturday Night Live the day after air for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Under the deal announced Wednesday, upcoming seasons of SNL episodes will not be available via Netflix until the following year. NBCU originally struck a streaming deal with Netflix in 2007 covering broadcast shows.

"This agreement demonstrates our commitment to providing NBCUniversal's high-quality content to consumers on a variety of platforms," NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution executive vice president and general sales manager Frances Manfredi said in a statement. "We are very pleased that Netflix recognizes the increasing value of NBCUniversal's extensive content offerings for their subscribers."

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos commented, "Our relationship with NBC Universal has been, and continues to be, mutually beneficial and has led to regular expansions of programming for our subscribers. This latest deal includes more episodes of more shows from more NBCU owned channels than ever before. From 30 Rock to the Kardashians, there is something for everyone to enjoy."

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