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Netflix, DreamWorks Animation Expand Distribution Deal

5 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Jan. 5 announced updates to their current multiyear deal, making Netflix the global home — outside of China — to a number of new original series from the studio. The deal also covers streaming rights to the DreamWorks Animation feature film library.

The new pact also extends the rights of current original DWA series for kids throughout operating Netflix markets to include second-window rights for the series outside of China. Series include “The Adventures of Puss in Boots,” “Dinotrux” and “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” among others.

Netflix will launch several new series from DWA, including a reimagining of “Voltron,” and first-time series “Trollhunters” from director Guillermo del Toro.

DWA series released last year exclusively to Netflix included “King Julien,” “Veggie Tales in the House” and “Turbo FAST,” among others.

“DreamWorks Animation is synonymous with great storytelling that families around the world enjoy,” Cindy Holland, VP of original series for Netflix, said in a statement.

The expanded agreement with Netflix comes as DWA continues to restructure internally — a strategy that saw layoffs and the sale of capital infrastructure in 2015. The studio reported a narrowed loss of $3.5 million (from $11.9 million year-over-year) in its most-recent fiscal period.

Indeed, some Wall Street analysts contend DWA is overly dependent upon Netflix to remain afloat financially.

“We were concerned by this exposure, as we believe the quality of the content DreamWorks has delivered to Netflix is poor and that Netflix does not need DreamWorks nearly as much as it did when it signed their agreements,” BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield wrote in a blog post last February.

DWA senior management in the most recent fiscal call reiterated Netflix remains “an incredible partner to us,” and that DWA is “constantly in conversations with them” about joint ventures, notably in TV programming.

“This [expanded] agreement adds to the incredible foundation we’ve built together with Netflix over a number of years across both film and television,” Ann Daly, president of DWA, said in a statement.


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