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Netflix confirms deal for original show

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 20 Mar 2011 1:29 User comments (1)

Netflix confirms deal for original show Netflix has confirmed it has beat out HBO and AMC for the drama "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey.
The show is directed by David Fincher, the man behind 'Fight Club' and 'The Social Network,' among other hits.

House of Cards will be Netflix' first original program, and puts the company in direct competition with HBO and Showtime, which have had years of original hits that have helped raise their subscriber bases.

Airing in late 2012, the show will be available exclusively through Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service, which costs $7.99 by itself, or minimum $8.99 when mixed with a physical media package.

To get the show, Netflix had to commit to two seasons (26 episodes) before the pilot/test episode was even shot. A full-season commitment is an anomaly in the TV world, and a two-season commitment is just unheard of.

Netflix COO Ted Sarandos says the "company will pay a portion of the production costs of the series, with Media Rights Capital financing the rest and retaining DVD, television syndication and international distribution rights." It is unclear how much the company had to pay for the agreement, although he admitted that Netflix made sure its fees per show was capped.

Says Sarandos (via WSJ):

What they brought to me was a perfect storm of material and talent that made it a very safe bet.If it turns out to be a mediocre show, this wouldn't be a great deal, but it won't be a disaster.

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1 user comment

129.3.2011 11:38

I know Netflix is desperate for original, fresh content, but the economics just don't work out in their favor here. This sounds like a niche show like AMC's "Mad Men". But on a good night "Mad Men" only draws 1.5 million viewers.

Since Netflix is guaranteeing a two-year deal, they must be major participators in this deal. Without any kind of secondary market prospects, I don't see how this will work out for them. It certainly won't draw many new customers in.

If they can't get the studios to provide more content at any price, Netflix should just keep their fees down.

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