updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue March 15, 2011
Netflix may have 100m deal for original content
A rumor from an atypical source may have signaled a change to original, major content. The movie rental service reportedly beat out AMC and HBO to get rights for two seasons, or 26 episodes, of the David Fincher-directed and Kevin Spacey-led series House of Cards. The details described to Deadline Hollywood put the value at over $100 million.
The move if real would be a huge gamble even versus traditional TV. With the exception of Rome, HBO has always insisted on pilots of shows before committing to them, even when the quality was virtually guaranteed from the choices of directors and actors. Trial-free show buys have happened, but with shows like The Walking Dead have been deliberately kept short to avoid disaster if the series flops.
On a larger scale, it would also be one of the few instances of a truly independent but also major digital video service beginning to offer its own content. While rivals like Apple can get small exclusives for behind-the-scenes and extras, these usually relate to a non-exclusive main source and are just bonuses. Netflix would be giving subscribers unique content as a central advantage and committing far more in the way of resources.
Netflix has been lining up as many deals as possible to expand its catalog but has mostly been working on getting expanded movie rights as well as bringing some recent TV shows. Its success has been enough to give it 61 percent of paid US digital video where even traditional cable and satellite providers, as well as Apple, have just a sliver of the same market.
Neither Netflix nor the other parties involved have commented on the prospects of a deal. [image via Sarah Ackerman]