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The agreement comes after Amazon said it would stream free content to loyal customers.
Netflix Inc. will offer online streaming of classic TV shows from CBS Corp. under a non-exclusive 2-year deal, the companies announced today. The agreement comes a day after Amazon.com Inc. said it would offer TV and movie content to customers of its Amazon Prime shipping service.
"More and more, people want to be able to access our programming on a wide variety of platforms,” says Scott Koondel, president of distribution, CBS Television Distribution. “We are very pleased that the titles offered through this deal will now also be made available to a whole new community through the terrific and convenient service that Netflix offers.”
Under terms of the contract, Netflix will begin offering from Netflix.com instant streaming of CBS-owned content, including full seasons of such sitcoms as “Frasier,” “Family Ties” and “Cheers,” and episodes of other classics including “Star Trek,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” The amount that Netflix will pay CBS for that the content was not released, though a CBS spokesman indicated the amount was significant. "We got maximum value for these shows," he says.
CBS says that it will continue to pursue additional non-exclusive distribution partners, though it declines to be more specific. "We could certainly negotiate a similar deal with other online properties, but there is nothing to announce at this time," the CBS spokesman says.
Netflix, No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it expects to expand its relationship with CBS. “We are looking forward to growing our relationship over time,” says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. Netflix didn’t say if it was also pursuing deals with other TV content providers.
Netflix also did not comment directly on the service announced yesterday by Amazon, which is No. 1 in the Top 500 Guide. "We have said for a long time that a big, growing market draws competitors," a Netflix spokesman says. Consumers who sign up for Amazon Prime pay $79 a year for unlimited free shipping. Amazon added the video streaming as an added perk. Amazon has not said how many Prime members there are, but analysts put the figure at 5-6 million.