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Will a $100,000-an-episode offer be enough to convince programmers to give Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) access to current television content? The distribution giant hopes so. The New York Post is reporting that Netflix is in talks with studios and floating an offer that would reportedly pay between $70,000 and $100,000 for rights to stream content shortly after its broadcast.
The paper said the entry of Netflix into the competition for content that already includes Apple and Google is heating up a battle over who actually controls the digital rights of an episode. Programmers say they do, but broadcasters, who stand to lose the most if they lose exclusive right to reruns and the advertising attached to them say the episodes are theirs.
"It's a big source of friction," one TV executive familiar with discussions told the Post. "There are no agreements [on control of rights], but I think it will trend toward the networks being in charge of selling in-season in first run, and beyond that, the studio."
Netflix this week announced a deal to stream for first-run theatrical releases from independent film company FilmDistrict. The deal will give the distribution giant a license to release the movies during the pay-TV window normally reserved for premium cable channels, just a few months after their release to DVD. FilmDistrict releases between four and eight films each year.
Netflix said it's focused on broadening the variety and timeliness of content available for Netflix members as it transforms itself into a service focused on streaming movies TV shows over the Internet.