From ‘Hobbit’ to ’21 Jump Street’: Netflix and MGM Sign UK Streaming Deal

Pact also includes catalogue titles such as “Capote” and “Fargo”

Netflix and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) unveiled a new multi-year licensing agreement on Monday that will give the subscription service exclusive streaming rights in the United Kingdom and Ireland to upcoming films like "The Hobbit" and "21 Jump Street."

The deal is said to cover "most" first-run feature films from the studio, the big "get" being the two "Lord of the Rings" prequels,  “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again."

Unmentioned in the announcement was whether the new pact would include streaming rights for the upcoming James Bond sequel, "Skyfall." 

MGM films will start appearing within a year of their theatrical release, the company said.

MGM catalogue titles will also be available on Netflix, including “Capote,” “Fargo,” “The Usual Suspects,” “West Side Story” and “The Amityville Horror.”

Netflix announced last month that it would launch its service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012. The company has been battered by domestic subscriber losses and bad press stemming from its decision to hike subscription prices, but it has seen international expansion as key to continuing its growth. 

In addition to the U.K. and Ireland, Netflix has expanded into Latin America and Canada over the past year.

MGM only recently emerged from bankruptcy and is now under new management in the guise of Spyglass chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. Key to their plan for the studio was leveraging its massive back catalogue of titles.