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Netflix (NFLX) Gets Exclusive Deal to Stream Sony Picture Movies

Netflix NFLX has signed a new licensing deal with Sony’s SONY Pictures Entertainment division, which gives the streaming giant an exclusive right to stream the studio’s theatrical titles starting in 2022, per a Wall Street Journal report. Terms of the five-year deal were not disclosed.

The Uncharted adaptation is currently pegged for a Feb 18, 2022 premiere, and Morbius, about the vampire/scientist from the Spider-Man canon, is slated for Jan 21, 2022. Other Sony Pictures that will stream exclusively on Netflix include Bullet Train, Where the Crawdads Sing, and the sequels planned for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the Venom, Jumanji, and Bad Boys franchises.

Additionally, Netflix has also set a first-look agreement with Sony for all the studio’s original movies produced for the direct-to-streaming market. That deal also requires Netflix to commit to a certain number of titles from the studio.

Moreover, as part of the pact, Netflix will license an unspecified number of older titles from Sony’s movie vault.

Netflix, Paramount Boost Content Library with Pay-One Window Strategy

Typically, movies licensed in a pay-one window would be available to watch on a streaming service or TV network after finishing their run in theaters and after they are made available for home viewing via video-on-demand. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced cinemas around the world to close.

Sony has sold multiple slate titles to Netflix outright, including Kevin Hart’s Fatherhood, and animated films The Mitchells Vs. The Machines and Wish Dragon besides selling Tom Hanks starrer Greyhound to Apple’s AAPL Apple TV+.

In February, ViacomCBS VIAC division Paramount Pictures and Epix announced an expansion of their relationship that includes an extension of their existing pay TV output deal in the United States on mutually beneficial terms. Per the new agreement, many of Paramount’s theatrically-released films will premiere earlier than before in pay TV on EPIX.

As a result of the expanded relationship, Paramount+ streaming service that was launched on Mar 4 has gained access to the theatrical films licensed to Epix from Paramount Pictures, as well as from other studios, including MGM, adding thousands of films to Paramount+’s film offering in the coming months.

Following their theatrical runs, MGM’s new movies will continue to be available first in an exclusive pay television window with Epix, before becoming available on both Paramount+ and Epix. These titles include House of Gucci, Creed III and the 25th installment of the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die.

Such pay-one deals have been a staple of Hollywood for years, a lucrative way for studios to generate handsome revenues for their films from streaming providers. However, Sony is among the few traditional Hollywood studios without a streaming service of its own.

Disney, for example, allowed its pay-one mega deal with Netflix to elapse, reserving all its films to make their streaming debuts on its own service Disney+ instead.

Netflix’s Robust Content Lineup to Fend off Competition

Netflix has been aggressively expanding its film library in the increasingly competitive streaming space, which is expected to reach $184.2 billion by 2027, per Grand View Research.

The streaming service plans to release at least one new original film this year. Additionally, it recently acquired the rights to multiple Knives Out sequels in a deal that reportedly exceeds $450 million.

The company’s upcoming TV shows and movies for spring 2021 includes Selena: The Series Part 2, superhero epic Thunder Force, reality competition The Circle Season 2, comedy series Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!, sci-fi thriller Stowaway, family drama Jupiter’s Legacy, epic fantasy adventure Shadow and Bon, and horror movie titled Things Heard and Seen among others.

Moreover, Netflix has a solid pipeline of regional content in 2021. The company is set to release 40 shows and movies for its India audience in the coming months.

Further, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company will launch 40 new anime titles this year to cater to its Asian audiences especially in Japan where half of Netflix’s 5 million subscribing households watch an average of five hours of the shows each month. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among the series Netflix will release this year are Yasuke, about a legendary African samurai in feudal Japan, and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, based on a Japanese horror video-game franchise created by Capcom.

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