Netflix announced agreements Friday with Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Film that give the movie-rental service an expanded selection of content available for Internet streaming -- but require Netflix to not release new titles until 28 days after they're available for sale at retail.
Netflix has more than 12 million members. Devices that can stream movies and TV episodes through the service include Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3 game consoles and, this spring, Nintendo's Wii console; Blu-ray disc players from Samsung, LG and Insignia; Internet TVs from LG, Sony and Vizio; the Roku digital video player and TiVo digital video recorders; and Apple's iPad tablet.
Among Twentieth Century Fox's first DVD/Blu-ray releases under the new Netflix agreement is Avatar, which will not be available to Netflix customers until late May, 28 days after its April 22 street date. Universal's first release covered under the new agreement is the comedy It's Complicated, which will be available to Netflix subscribers 28 days after its April 27 release.
"As the home entertainment market continues to evolve, we're exploring new and creative approaches to distribution with our key studio partners," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. "Our intent is to forge agreements that make sense for the companies involved and that, on the whole, improve the consumer experience and the movie ecosystem."
Meanwhile, Fox will make a host of new TV and movie content available to Netflix customers via Internet streaming, including: all prior seasons of current series like Lie to Me, Bones, 24 and King of the Hill, as well as complete seasons of library TV shows such as Prison Break, Arrested Development and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Films under the deal include Aliens, The Thin Red Line, Romancing the Stone and Patton.
Universal movies available on Netflix streaming include Gosford Park,Billy Elliott,The Pianist, Being John Malkovich and Do the Right Thing.