August 4, 2009, 12:00 AM

Disney brokers a deal with Netflix for more streaming video

The Disney-ABC Television Group and Netflix have signed an agreement under which Disney-ABC will make several of the ABC television network’s most popular series available to be streamed instantly from Netflix.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Mickey Mouse has agreed to let Netflix Inc. stream some of his most popular TV shows.

The Disney-ABC Television Group and Netflix have signed an agreement under which Disney-ABC will make several of the ABC television network’s most popular series available to be streamed instantly from Netflix.

The deal will allow Netflix members to instantly watch the first five seasons of Lost, seasons four and five of Desperate Housewives, season five of Grey’s Anatomy, and seasons one and two of Legend of the Seeker. Many of the episodes, including the first four seasons of Lost, are available now. The remainder will be available in subsequent months, beginning in September.

The agreement extends the online relationship between Netflix, No. 18 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Disney-ABC Television Group, which announced their first digital licensing deal last September. That agreement centered on original series from the Disney Channel cable network.

Netflix has a growing library of more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes that members can watch instantly on their computers and TVs as part of their membership at no additional monthly cost. The company offers more than 100,000 titles on DVDs that are mailed to consumers’ homes.

“We’re excited about this new agreement since it builds on a strong foundation with Disney-ABC Television Group,” says Robert Kyncl, vice president of content acquisition at Netflix. “In all, we’re providing Netflix members with some of the most popular and avidly followed shows on TV while working with an important business partner to help grow several of its key franchises.”

Netflix has been partnering with consumer electronics manufacturers to bring to market a growing number of network devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to members’ TVs. These devices include Blu-ray disc players and new Internet TVs from LG Electronics; Blu-ray disc players from Samsung; the Roku digital video player; Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console; TiVo digital video recorders; and soon Internet TVs from Sony and Vizio.

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