Netflix to rule the Magic Kingdom, Disney will give them exclusive first-run films in multi-year deal

Today in Burbank the ‘House of Mouse’ did what we already know. The king-maker of media has just made Netflix the undisputed king of the streaming over the top video platform wars. In a press release today Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios.

Huge news as the Sony owed cable channel STARS Entertainment had the previous locked in agreement. A huge nod to the power of streaming media thought over the top video over traditional cable avenues. This Netflix deal also makes it that much more clear why Disney shut down their own turnkey video solution, which offered streaming of movies purchased on DVD or digitally.

“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”

This is pretty huge as it means Netflix has the full weight of the exclusive library of the mouse to swing around now. To further explain how big a scope that is beginning with its 2016 theatrically released feature films, new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disney Nature titles, and any future Lucasfilm titles are made available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the ‘pay TV’ window on any platform Netflix is viewable on. Also included in the agreement are high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, available on Netflix starting in 2013.

“With this cutting-edge agreement, we are thrilled to take our highly valued relationship with Netflix to the next level by adding Disney’s premier films to their programming line-up,” said Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Netflix continues to meet the demands of its subscribers in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, and we are delighted that they will have much earlier access to our top-quality and entertaining slate,” she continued.

Disney doesn’t expose its slate out that far, but Pixar has a Finding Nemo sequel scheduled for a 2016 release. That would show up on Netflix as one of the tent pole flicks of this deal.

Financial terms of the agreement were not made public.

[Netflix Press Release]

*Update*

To show you the power of this new ‘over the top’ video space station deal here is a little logograph for you. Yes that was a death star ref.

Originally from the Maryland beltway area. Patrick lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years. Now he is based in the Portland area. In the past Patrick has been an IT engineer, technology consultant, software trainer, technology journalist, blogger, and podcaster. Currently he is returning to school for a degree in Computer Science & Engineering.

Patrick Roanhouse – who has written posts on Plan8.