TVBizwire

Game Changer? Netflix Buys Rights to Disney Movies. Potential Major Threat to Pay Cable LA Times, NY Post

In a deal that places it in direct competition with pay-television networks such as HBO and Starz, Netflix has bought the exclusive U.S. rights to movies from Walt Disney Studios, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The three-year agreement, which starts in 2016, is a setback for Starz, which currently holds the rights to televise Disney movies, including Pixar movies and superhero pictures from Marvel, the piece points out.

While the price of the deal wasn't disclosed, Netflix is estimated to be paying $350 million per year for the rights, according to the New York Post.

The deal is "a bold leap forward for Internet television," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

Even though Wall Street analysts were concerned about the cost of the deal, Netflix stock jumped 14% on news of the agreement.

The pact will help Netflix stand out from its rivals, including Hulu Plus, Amazon and Verizon/Redbox, the Post points out.

Disney has also given Netflix nonexclusive streaming rights to some of its older films, including "Dumbo" and "Pocahontas," which takes effect immediately.