Netflix Gets 'Glee,' 'Sons of Anarchy' In Expanded Fox Deal


Netflix users can watch the first two seasons of FX's Sons of Anarchy as well as the first season of Fox's primetime hit Glee starting Friday, under an expanded distribution pact with Twentieth Century Fox.

The new multiyear, nonexclusive digital distribution agreement also grants Netflix access to library series such as Ally McBeal and The Wonder Years. Fox will also make a number of library movies available to Netflix after their premium pay television license periods conclude.

The Fox deal comes after premium cable nets have pulled back from the streaming service.

Sons of Anarchy

Last week, Starz Entertainment said it will delay original programming, starting with the April 1 premiere of period drama Camelot, and eventually first-run movies for 90 days. Separately, Showtime said past seasons of currently airing shows like Dexter will be pulled off Netflix this summer.

Netflix, however, has maintained that its strategy is primarily to provide a large selection of TV and movie content -- rather than to provide immediate access to content currently.

Previously, Netflix's streaming agreement with Fox made a prior seasons of TV shows available watch instantly including Lie to Me, 24, Prison Break, Arrested Development, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and X-Files.

"Our expanded nonexclusive streaming arrangement with Netflix maintains Fox's flexibility to effectively manage both the content we offer, and the appropriate window of availability relative to our other distribution partnerships," Fox Filmed Entertainment president of new media and digital distribution Peter Levinsohn said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Netflix and our other partners to further enhance the choices available to audiences."

Netflix has more than 20 million members in U.S. and Canada. Its streaming-only option is $7.99 per month for unlimited access to more than 20,000 movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and more than 200 different connected devices.

While cable and satellite TV operators have feared Internet-distributed video would erode their subscriber rolls, there's still no sign Netflix or online video is leading to any significant amount of "cord-cutting." Overall, 0.3% of 1,287 U.S. households surveyed canceled pay-TV service in the past year and don't plan to subscribe again in the next six months, according to consumer research from Leichtman Research Group.

On the other hand, about 20% of multichannel video subscribers surveyed said they're likely to reduce spending in the next six months -- but Netflix users and people who watch lots of online video are just as likely as others to be looking to reduce the cost of their TV service, according to LRG.