Netflix snags Disney deal for Pixar, Star Wars films

A slew of content from Walt Disney Studios is making its way to Netflix after the two companies announced a three-year deal Tuesday.

You’ll have to wait awhile to stream your favorite Disney films, though. The company’s backlog, which includes the animated Pixar library and Star Wars franchise, will be available on Netflix beginning toward the end of 2016, after Disney’s current deal with pay-TV network Starz expires.

When the Netflix partnership begins, Disney’s first-run pictures will be available to stream seven to nine months after leaving theaters, while older movies will be immediately available.

More studios may follow Disney’s lead and abandon cable networks in favor of streaming companies like Netflix.

But Starz in a statement said that it was actually the one who decided not to renew the deal with Disney. The company said it plans to “dramatically ramp up our investment in exclusive, premium-quality original series” instead.

The network’s last studio partnership is with Sony Pictures, a deal that also ends in 2016.

Background

Starz in 2005 began developing original programming, including shows like “Camelot” and the Kelsey Grammer-led “Boss.” The network is also set to air new episodes of the cult series “Arrested Development” next year, as well as a new Kevin Spacey show “House of Cards.”

And not all studios have embraced streaming over pay-TV networks. For instance, HBO this year renewed its deal to show theatrical movies from 20th Century Fox.

Netflix is also being challenged for supremacy by competing streaming companies like Amazon Instant Video and Hulu. Plans for Redbox Instant, a $6 streaming service from DVD rental company Redbox, leaked last month. To retain market share, Netflix has to step up its game with more exclusive content.

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