Netflix Denied Disney-Related Streaming Rights in 2019


In a formal announcement, Netflix was informed that it would not be able to stream any new “Star Wars” films nor any content connected to Marvel Entertainment, beginning in 2019. While some might see this as disastrous for the leading streaming service, Netflix’s investors seemed indifferent to the declaration.

Netflix shares rose 0.1 percent during midday trades, closing above the previous day’s $179.25 per share, once Disney chief Bob Iger declared that Star Wars and Marvel content would be exclusive to his own company’s future streaming service. Earlier, Disney had left options open for other streaming rights to moves that would be licensed to other third parties. Disney’s as-yet-unnamed streaming service is planned for a 2019 debut.

When assessing the dull reaction from its investors, it seems Netflix has already been readying itself for reduced content from Disney-Disney has already pulled back on the Pixar and Disney content it has licensed to Netflix. The license reduction resulted in a seven percent drop in shares the week after Disney made that declaration.

While Netflix continues hoping to broker a new deal for licenses to Star Wars and Marvel, it seems to be a longshot proposition. Fortunately, Netflix seems influential enough that it can continue to function without the involvement of a major partner company like Disney. Overall, the Disney movie deals only signifies a shard of Netflix’s overall material. While Netflix pays Disney an annual figure of roughly $200 million, that loss is a drop in the bucket that is Netflix’s projected 2018 budget of $7 billion.

In anticipation of rival studios’ own SVOD services, Netflix has spent the last five years ensuring that its catalog includes unique and exclusive material. The company has furthered its dominance by investing in other enterprises; last month saw its acquisition of Millarworld comics, the original source for adaptations of “Kingsman” and “Kick-Ass,” and last week saw it steal Shonda Rhimes away from ABC studios and working with Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle to bring Parisian drama “The Eddy” to television.

Netflix and Disney originally made a licensing pact within the United States in 2012. At that point, Netflix was ensured access to streaming Disney films since the start of 2016. A similar had been brokered for Canadian Netflix. Unconnected to its pact regarding Disney films, Netflix continued to enjoy a multiyear deal related to Marvel’s street-level heroes that highlights some of the service’s best original content.


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