Take that, Hulu: Netflix announced on Wednesday that it struck an agreement with Disney to add a number of ABC and ABC Family shows to its Watch Instantly catalog. Part of the agreement is a new 15 day window for broadcast content, meaning that new episodes of some shows will show up a little more than two weeks after airing on TV.
Netflix users will soon be able to stream shows like Greek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Ugly Betty, Scrubs and Brothers & Sisters. The agreement also covers Disney movies like High School Musical and Revenge of the Bridesmaids. Disney had first signed up with Netflix in summer of 2008, and this new agreement also extends streaming rights for ABC shows like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.
TV content has been a huge part of Netflix’s online success story. The company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed last month that TV shows account for half of all streaming hours on its online video service.
The new 15-day window is another step towards competing more aggressively with Hulu and its Hulu Plus subscription service, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously called a “direct competitor” that has to be taken seriously. Netflix recently signed up with NBC to get access to episodes of Saturday Night Live the day after they air on TV, and the New York Post reported last week that Netflix is willing to pay between between $70,000 and $100,000 per episode for current episodes of primetime TV shows.
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