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Netflix has licensed exclusive rights to future films from indie studio Open Road Films, making it the only place viewers can watch those movies during the pay TV window. The deal follows Netflix’s recent habit of locking down titles from independent producers ahead of cable networks.

open road

Netflix is continuing its content acquisition spree, announcing Tuesday that it has licensed exclusive rights to future films from indie studio Open Road Films. The deal, which will ensure that Netflix is the only place viewers can watch Open Road Films’ movies during the pay TV window, follows the streaming subscription company’s recent habit of locking down titles from independent producers.

The deal will give Netflix streaming rights for Open Road Films’ first film, an action thriller starring Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen titled Killer Elite. It also will give it exclusive access to The Host, an upcoming adaptation of a best-selling novel by Twilight Series author Stephanie Meyer that is bound to be popular with the young adult crowd. More titles will be announced as Open Road Films production ramps up.

Agreements like the one Netflix is announcing with Open Road enable it to compete head-to-head with traditional premium pay TV networks. Netflix struck its first exclusive pay TV deal with an independent producer last year, when Relativity Media agreed to license new releases for streaming instead of providing them to cable networks like HBO, Starz and Showtime. That deal was a big coup for Netflix, which will be the only subscription service through which viewers can watch The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Academy Award winner Christian Bale.

Following its Relativity Media deal, the subscription service did a deal for new movies Nu Image/Millennium Films in the pay TV window as well. But the most interesting acquisition was that of rights to House of Cards, a David Fincher-Kevin Spacey TV series that will appear on Netflix instead of cable.

Most of the content from these deals won’t show up for some time — The Fighter still hasn’t made it to the streaming catalog yet — but it’ll be interesting to see how the content mix affects subscriptions to the service over time.

  1. good, now that they’ve created the habit, they are gaining the leverage associated with relevance, something the 20th century sleepingatekeepers refuse to understand. so now, they are a funnel between actor production companies and the audience. adapt or, you know the rest, this time for real, it’s all finished. BEHOLD, the return of NARRATIVE STRUCTURE IN FILMS, character development, no pressure restrictions, just platform freedom, tablet, living room or laptop or smartphone, long live new copyright laws of playback and use and even (re)use, if you catch my drift.


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