Netflix is nearing a deal with pay-television network Epix that would give the home-video service exclusive online rights to films from Epix’ three backers, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog reports.
MGM is having major financial woes, and Lionsgate is challenged by shareholder Carl Ichan, but Paramount is clearly a strong major player.
According to the article, the agreement would place Netflix in competition with Time Warner’s HBO, which offers movies from Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures, the story says.
Netflix has been directing its efforts to buying content for its streaming video service, including a recent deal with Starz and another with Relativity Media. The deal with Epix would require Netflix to pay almost $1 billion in licensing fees over the term of the agreement, although some points continue to be negotiated, such as when Epix would permit Netflix to stream its movies.
The agreement isn’t expected to impact Epix’ online video-streaming service, the article says. A spokesman for Netflix and Epix Chief Executive Mark Greenberg didn’t immediately return calls for comment, the story adds.