Epix Deal Expands Netflix Streaming Library; New DVD Sales Still Protected

Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Epix have made their “multi-year” movie streaming deal official and to be sure, the threat is more towards other pay TV channels than the dwindling DVD sales that the movie studios have sought to protect. Epix has subscription pay TV rights to new releases and movies from the libraries of its studio partners and will make these movies available to Netflix 90 days after their premium pay TV and subscription-on-demand debuts elsewhere. Historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release.

Movies from the deal will begin streaming from Netflix on September 1 and include movies from Paramount, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and MGM. The two didn’t offer specifics about how many years were in the “multi-year” agreement, nor did they mention a price. The LATimes, which first reported a deal was close on Monday, estimated that Netflix would pay Epix $1 billion for access to its partners films, which include such titles as Iron Man 2, Dinner for Schmucks and The Expendables.

The deal follows last month’s agreement between Netflix and Relativity Media, which gave the movie renter the streaming rights to Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg’s The Fighter, Nicolas Cage