First episode of Better Call Saul free on iTunes, Google Play
Better Call Saul, the long-awaited spin-off to Breaking Bad, is now available on iTunes and Google Play. The premiere episode of the series, which is set in the years before the protagonist becomes Walter White's lawyer, is free to acquire from both services, with extra episodes priced at $2 each or $17 for the season pass in standard definition. The high-definition version on iTunes costs $3 per episode and $26 for the entire season.
Spectrum deal covers 45 markets, 150M population
Dish Network has settled its lawsuit with Voom HD, allowing AMC back on Dish as of last night. The channels were initially dropped due to claimed high costs for AMC channels despite a relatively low viewership, though it appears more connected to a separate wireless spectrum-related lawsuit that has now ceased.
Netflix makes AMC deal for Walking Dead, more
Netflix on Friday announced a deal with AMC Networks for a multi-year licensing agreement that will make prior seasons of the AMC series The Walking Dead exclusive to the video streaming service. The first season is available to Netflix subscribers in the US and Canada starting Friday, October 7. New, second-season episodes will stream to Netflix members just before the premiere of following seasons.
Vudu adds TV shows for first time
Vudu chose Tuesday to throw itself into more direct competition with iTunes and Netflix by carrying TV shows. The deal gives it access to shows from ABC, AMC, Fox, HDNet, Palm, Showtime, Sony, Starz, and The CW, such as Weeds and The Walking Dead. As a paid service, its episodes will show a day after the air date rather than weeks or months like on Netflix.
AMC, Regal refuse movies with 60-day VOD
Major movie theater chains AMC and Regal this week warned that they would punish the major movie studios for trying to offer movies on demand after 60 days. Both said they would not only refuse to run trailers for any movie available to stream under the $30 per title plan but would decline the movies themselves. The two also maintained a likely unfulfillable hope that the studios would say which movies are 60-day VOD titles to ban them in advance.
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.
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.