Don Draper and his throwback ad agency antics will be streaming on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) this summer.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF ) has reached an exclusive syndication arrangement with Netflix. The first four seasons of the popular show will be available through the streaming service on July 27. The three subsequent seasons of Mad Men will be added annually to Netflix's digital catalog once they air on AMC.
Terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, but Variety reports that Netflix will be paying a license fee of just under $1 million per episode.
This isn't chump change, but it's also Netflix flexing its muscles at the right time. Recent headlines had CBS' (NYSE: CBS ) Showtime pulling Dexter, Californication, and other of the premium channel's shows from Netflix's streaming library. Showtime and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) HBO are trying to get their own streaming services noticed, and making sure that their shows aren't duplicated digitally through Netflix is an understandable strategy.
AMC is unlikely to complain. Allowing Netflix subscribers the freedom to brush up on the first four seasons of the critically acclaimed drama should boost ratings on AMC when Mad Men returns for a fifth season early next year.
It's a win-win-win deal, and it won't be the last time that Netflix writes a big check for premium content.
As Netflix's subscriber base grows, the Web-savvy video specialist will be able to shell out top dollar for content that no smaller pretender will be able to justify. The game's over, but aspiring Netflix rivals haven't realized it yet.
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