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Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) is picking up some more momentum for its UK and Ireland launch, scheduled for early next year. The streaming video company has now added film studio Miramax to its list of content partners, joining Lionsgate and MGM in providing films for the service. But unlike the other two, this deal does not appear to be exclusive.
Miramax already had a deal to provide content for Netflix’s streaming service in the U.S. and Latin America, and it also has similar arrangements with Hulu and Starz.
Additionally, it has a substantial agreement with Facebook to offer full-length streamed films and free clips through a Facebook app called the Miramax eXperience. That was launched in August and covers several markets — including the U.S. and UK — and lets users buy Miramax films with Facebook credits.
The financial terms of today’s multi-year licensing deal between Miramax and Netflix were not disclosed. When Miramax announced its original U.S. deal with Netflix in May 2011 — its first streaming agreement after getting sold off by Disney (NYSE: DIS) — it was reported to be worth $100 million.
Nor is it entirely clear what content will be included in the UK/Ireland deal, which will cover services via TV, tablets, games consoles, computers and mobile phones.
The original agreement provides hundreds of titles to customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In today’s announcement the two mention the availability of several films from the company’s back-catalog, including “Pulp Fiction,” “Chicago,” “Cold Mountain,” “The English Patient,” “Good Will Hunting,” “The Aviator,” “Bad Santa,” “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “Chocolat,” “Finding Neverland,” “Gangs of New York,” “The Hours,” “Kate & Leopold,” “Rounders,” “Sling Blade,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and several of the “Scary Movie,” “Scream” and “Hellraiser” films.
More on exclusivity. While Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and MGM have signed a pact with Netflix to give the streaming company an exclusive window for its UK and Ireland service, Miramax has chosen to go on a more open route. That’s actually in keeping with the company’s policy up to now: When Mike Lang was appointed the company’s CEO in December 2010, he told paidContent, “We’re at the precipice of working with everybody. We’re going to do it all.” One reason is that by staying non-exclusive, it lets Miramax add more scale into its streaming operation.
He also pointed out at the time, though, that Miramax might change its tune if the matter of equity came up: “If Netflix would have been nice enough to offer me equity I might be exclusive,” he noted.
In the absence of that equity deal, the door stays open for other UK streaming services like Lovefilm and Sky Movies to compete more evenly against Netflix, at least where Miramax titles are concerned.