updated 08:35 pm EDT, Tue April 5, 2011
Netflix near deal with Lions Gate for Mad Men
Netflix may be close to landing at least a pair of key content deals based on scoops Tuesday night. Talks are reportedly underway with Lions Gate to get streaming rights for every produced episode of Mad Men, which Lions Gate makes for AMC. The deal spotted by the WSJ would be worth $75 million to $100 million and would go live in mid-July, though the fifth season starting March 2012 wouldn't be available until it finished airing.
Separately, the streaming provider is also believed to be locking up a deal with NBC for earlier seasons of its TV shows. The terms weren't identified, but the deal would significantly expand the selection of NBC-made content available at Netflix so far.
Several major Netflix deals have either completed or been underway in recent weeks, including similar TV deals with Fox and a possible blockbuster Miramax movie deal, all of which have been aimed at expanding its catalog enough to encourage Internet viewing. It has gone so far as to buy an original TV series outright as one of its first exclusives.
The company's cheap subscription rates and its willingness to spend aggressively for content have, combined, given it 61 percent of the US online video market even though it pales in selection next to services like iTunes or Amazon Instant Video. Outside of Amazon's limited free videos for Prime members, most of these services focus on per-title rentals and are only available on a limited range of devices, negating some of the advantage they have in their libraries.