Netflix has signed agreements with CBS and Disney-ABC Television Group to give its subscribers unlimited access to select TV shows from the programmers’ current seasons and catalogs, streamed over the Internet.
Netflix offers the on-demand streaming feature to its 8 million subscribers, included as part of a monthly DVD-by-mail plan. Currently, the service has about 12,000 titles that customers can watch on their PCs or on TVs using an Internet-connected set-top.
The agreement for Disney Channel content—Netflix’s first digital licensing deal with Disney-ABC Television Group—centers on three of the network’s original series: Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and The Suite Life on Deck.
CBS will provide episodes from forthcoming season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as current-season episodes of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY and two other current shows, NCIS and Numb3rs.
The CBS and Disney Channel agreements will also add catalog shows that can be watched instantly at Netflix.com.
About 500 episodes from Disney Channel's programming library, including previously aired episodes of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana, as well as episodes of the animated series The Replacements, Lilo & Stitch: The Series and others, will come to Netflix.com beginning in 2009.
Some 350 CBS episodes covered in the deal include prior seasons of the three CSI series and Numb3rs; the first two seasons of Jericho; and episodes from older shows including Star Trek, MacGyver, and Family Ties.
Netflix subscribers can watch streaming from the Internet on their TVs using the $99 Netflix Player by Roku. Netflix has previously announced plans to instantly stream movies and TV episodes via Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console and LG Electronic's LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player starting this fall.