updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed July 13, 2011
Netflix keeps up NBCUniversal TV deals
Netflix on Wednesday landed a crucial renewal of a deal with NBCUniversal. The deal gives it access to much of the movie and TV studio's back catalog as well as more recent shows. Netflix didn't say how much it paid for the rights.
Rates have likely gone up. Netflix is rumored to have paid much more to renew one of its more important deals, with Starz, after the network wanted to discourage Netflix from getting too much recent content and competing with traditional TV. NBCUniversal and other studios might follow suit.
The need to renew deals could explain Netflix's decision to reshuffle its prices in a way that raises rates substantially for anyone who wants both DVDs and Internet streaming. Company spokespeople portrayed it as a simplification, but it guaranteed that frequent users who want discs would have to pay more.
Netflix in NPD's most recent study had 61 percent of the digital video business in the US and has worried traditional providers wanting to minimize its control. Pay-per-show services like iTunes haven't usually faced these objections because of the pricier but more profitable business model they use.