AMC Networks and Netflix reached a multiyear pact to make prior seasons of The Walking Dead available exclusively to Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada, with season 1 of the zombie thriller available starting Friday, along with other AMC programming.
The deal follows Netflix's agreement with Lionsgate to stream prior seasons of Mad Men in the U.S. and Latin America, and the service also offers older episodes of AMC's Breaking Bad.
Additional seasons of The Walking Dead, as well as certain future AMC and Sundance Channel programming, will be available for instant streaming via Netflix "just prior to the premiere of subsequent seasons," the companies said.
In addition, Netflix has licensed nonexclusive rights in the U.S. to select scripted and unscripted shows which will also be made available just before the following season debut. That includes programming from AMC, IFC, Sundance and WeTV.
Specific series include IFC's Portlandia and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret; WeTV's Braxton Family Values, My Fair Wedding and Bridezillas; and Sundance's All On The Line with Joe Zee and Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
"This agreement supports the cable 'ecosystem' by making our content available to Netflix nearly a year following the linear premiere, it brings our content to a wider audience, and it provides additional revenue to support production of new shows," AMC president and CEO Josh Sapan said in a prepared statement.
Netflix had 25.56 million subscribers (24.6 million in the U.S., 970,000 in Canada) as of the end of June. The company previously said it anticipated losing around 600,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter, following a price hike that splits apart DVD and streaming plans -- a move that angered many Netflix members. Netflix is scheduled to report Q3 2011 results on Oct. 24.