Warner Bros. and Netflix have expanded their streaming agreement, the companies announced Thursday. Under the new deal, the popular online rental service will get access to Warner Bros. television shows.
Netflix will be able to offer its subscribers episodes of shows including “Nip/Tuck,” “Veronica Mars," "Pushing Daisies" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”
"This agreement breaks new ground for both of us in the area of subscription, commercial-free streaming of first-cycle syndication network and cable TV shows,” Robert Kyncl, vice president of content acquisition for Netflix, said in a statement.
Netflix’s original streaming pact with Warner Bros. extends back to January, when the two companies reached an agreement regarding release windows. As part of that deal, Netlix agreed to honor a 28-day delay before it make the studio's new releases available to its customers. In return, Warner Bros. increased the number of the studio’s movies available for instant streaming on the Netflix site and allowed the rental company to pay less for the films it streams and for the new releases it rents after the 28-day window closed.
Warner Bros. maintains that making its new releases available to rental companies such as Netflix on the same day they hit stores depresses sales. The studio has largely sided with Blockbuster in these release-window wars, because the struggling rental chain gives the studio more generous margins on the films it rents.
The debt-plagued Blockbuster seems to be hurtling toward a reckoning. This month it delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and many on Wall Street are openly speculating that the brand could disappear by the end of this year.
Despite this altered movie rental landscape, Netflix and Warner Bros. stressed Thursday that nothing has changed with regards to their release-window agreement.
Netflix signed similar deals with 20th Century Fox and Universal this spring.