Why Sony’s Streaming Deals With Netflix AND Disney Make Sense for Everyone

“Windowing has been completely turned upside down,” one veteran streaming executive says

While entertainment industry watchers were quick to expound on the reasons why Sony Pictures Entertainment’s recently announced U.S. movie licensing deal with Disney is a win for Sony, it’s also a win for Disney. And for Netflix, which in early April had announced a massive movie pact with Sony that gave the streamer the so-called “Pay-1” window that grants the rights to the first TV airing of a movie following its theatrical run and home entertainment release.

Disney has access to Sony’s 2022-2026 theatrical movie slate following Netflix’s exclusive window. Pay-1 windows typically last for 18 months, which begs the question of why an entertainment behemoth like Disney would be willing to play second banana to Netflix. But in today’s fast-changing world of so-called “windowing,” experts say the second window can be as valuable as the first.

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Diane Haithman

Diane Haithman

Senior Entertainment Business Reporter • diane@thewrap.com • @dhaithman