NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) has added Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) to its roster of online syndication outlets. Netflix joins Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Unbox and the network’s own NBC Direct site for TV show downloads, and the streaming option viewers are offered on the NBC/News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) JV Hulu and NBC.com. Episodes of NBC’s Heroes will be available to Netflix subcribers one day after being broadcast. Previously run episodes of 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and The Office, can also be accessed from Netflix’s site or through the company’s primary DVD rental service.
For Netflix, the deal reflects its desire to increase its TV content especially as looks to grow its download service. TV shows currently comprise about 20 percent of Netflix’s DVD rentals.The company hopes to match that percentage for its online VOD subscriptions. In the case of NBC, the goal is to expand its online presence as widely as possible and reach new viewers wherever they might be, especially in light of the sunsetting of its download sales deal with iTunes over what the network considered was a lack of variable pricing and packaging options.
Update: The (mis-dated) release positions this as a deal to make Netflix the third prong of the Heroes syndication strategy, with Netflix as the exclusive SVOD outlet. Online access to Heroes and the other shows — already underway — is part of the Netflix subscription package. It’s streaming only; no downloads.