McStreamy: Netflix, Disney Announce Deal to Stream ABC Shows

Pact includes prior seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives,” Disney Channel and ABC Family after 15-day window

Last Updated: December 8, 2010 @ 8:53 AM

Netflix and Disney have announced a new licensing agreement that will allow Netflix members to stream hundreds of old episodes from the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel and — for the first time — ABC Family.

The agreement, brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, was announced by the two companies on Wednesday.

Prior season episodes of current ABC series "Grey's Anatomy,"  "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" will be available instantly, as well as every episode of "Lost" and "Ugly Betty.”

However, Disney will make current shows from the Disney Channel and ABC Family available to Netflix “no earlier than 15 days after initial telecast.” After that, they can be streamed instantly by Netflix’s 16 million members.

That window is probably aimed to appease Hulu, which is backed by News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney. (Although, it is weird that Disney would sign off on a deal that gives a chunk of content to a would-be competitor to Hulu's premium service.)

Disney Channel and ABC Family shows, including "Melissa & Joey,” will make their Netflix streaming debuts, too.

Additionally, Disney Channel and ABC Family movies like "High School Musical," "High School Musical 2” will also be available to stream via at Netflix.

Themove is well-timed for Netflix, which just announced on Tuesday that chief financial officer Barry McCarthy is leaving the company. And, as CNET notes, the company has been battling chatter in recent days that the "flow of content to Netflix would begin to slow soon."

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