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Netflix Inks CBS Streaming Deal

23 Feb, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix Feb. 22 said it signed a two-year agreement with CBS Corp. enabling its monthly subscribers to stream select catalog titles, including episodes of “Medium” and “Flashpoint,” as well as full seasons of “Frasier,” “Family Ties” and “Cheers,” among others.

Financial terms of the non-exclusive deal were not disclosed. CBS has the option to renew the deal, which begins in April, for an additional two years.

Episodes from the original "Hawaii Five-0" are included in the package, as are episodes from "Star Trek" and the cult favorite "Twin Peaks." Installments of '60s classics "The Twilight Zone" and "The Andy Griffith Show" will be available as well.

"This deal recognizes the increasing value of our content in today's marketplace," said Scott Koondel, president of distribution with CBS Television Distribution. "More and more, people want to be able to access our programming on a wide variety of platforms. We are very pleased that the titles offered through this deal will now also be made available to a whole new community through … Netflix. We will continue to pursue additional non-exclusive distribution partners that are additive to our overall business."

Netflix ended 2010 with more than 20 million monthly subscribers — the majority streaming at least 15 minutes per month.

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves had made no secret of his desire to approach emerging digital distribution channels with caution, including not interrupting the lucrative syndication market.

As a result, CBS primetime hits such as “Two and a Half Men,” the “CSI” franchise, “NCIS,” “The Mentalist” and “The Big Bang Theory,” are only available on disc.

“There is no great need to rush into something that we don’t know a lot about,” Moonves told investors in December.


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