CATEGORIES Deals, Lionsgate Films, MGM, Paramount, Home Entertainment, Features, Movie News, CinematicalLove Netflix "Watch Instantly" but wish there were more new studio titles available? A deal between the online movie rental service and a little-known cable channel called Epix should grant some of that access, according to the New York Times (and originally reported by the LA Times). Epix has rights to films from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, and now it will share titles like Iron Man 2 (as well as other Avengers-stable films) and The Expendables with Netflix for availability through the company's streaming service a mere three months after appearing on pay TV. This adds to already great streaming access provided by deals Netflix has with Starz (with it Disney and Sony titles) and Relativity Media.
Of course, that timeline still only gives Netflix customers access to the streaming option long after they can rent the physical DVD or Blu-ray, but it's still a quicker offering than we're used to. And if you're like me, you barely deal with the red envelopes, so any opportunity for more streaming titles, regardless of when they become available, is welcome. Another issue with the deal, as Deadline points out, is that Epix's partners are not the cream of the crop. Perhaps if a miracle happens and both (or even one of) the Hobbit and James Bond franchises get moving, we can hope for those to stream via Netflix. But this deal is said to only be for five years, so it's unlikely we'll be so lucky.
Possibly, Epix will also gain from its deal with Netflix, at least in terms of exposure. How many of us had heard of the channel prior to this news? It's only offered through a few cable providers and the channel already has its own online streaming platform (with its appealing "Watch With Friends" option). Some providers are expected to be unhappy with the deal, however. So if you can't get the channel, this might not mean you'll soon be able to. The LA Times notes that carriers like Comcast could see this as a threat to cable. I see their point given that I don't pay for premium channels because I have so much at my fingertips through Netflix.