updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue July 6, 2010
Netflix strikes deal with Relativity Media
Netflix today landed a crucial deal with Relativity Media to expand its range of movies. The agreement now lets it get major movies for Internet streaming that would ordinarily be "encumbered" by deals to play them exclusively on pay TV networks like HBO, Showtime and Starz in first few months after the DVD release. Relativity agreed to break its traditional arrangement since it was a "natural step" in the movie business, which previously locked some movies into non-disc viewing for as long as nine years.
Some of the first movies to bear fruit for Netflix will be the upcoming Christian Bale movie The Fighter, which goes into theaters later this year but will be on Netflix's Watch Instantly by early 2011. Nicolas Cage's Season of the Witch is due in a similar timeframe. Relativity has also been responsible for very recent movies like Robin Hood and Get Him to the Greek, but their timing on Netflix wasn't discussed.
Streaming access still requires a basic Netflix subscription but provides unlimited access on any device that recognizes the service, including a large amount of home theater equipment and devices like the iPad.