Netflix Secures DreamWorks Deal

It's Shrek to the rescue! Breaking up a string of bad news and disappointing forecasts, Netflix has scored a major distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation.

"The Netflix accord, which analysts estimate is worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks over an unspecified period of years, is billed by the companies as the first time a major Hollywood supplier has chosen Web streaming over pay television," The New York Times reports.

Specifically, "What this means is that rather than providing its films to HBO or a similar premium pay TV channel, DreamWorks has opted to show its movies on Netflix," writes PCMag.com.

"DreamWorks Animation is betting big on the future of the Web's popularity for consuming premium video content," is how ReadWriteWeb sees the deal. "Netflix has just announced a coup," gushes ConsumerReports.org. Or not, CNet suggests. While desperate to generate some positive news, it suspects that that the details of the Netflix deal "make it clear the partnership doesn't warrant the Times' goose-pimply reaction."

Adding to the appearance of spin, as CNet notes, the deal isn't slated to kick off until 2013, at which point DreamWorks plans to offer up its feature film lineup to Netflix subscribers. Later on, select titles will be added to Netflix's Watch Instantly library, including Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2, Chicken Run, and Antz.

Still, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg tells NYT that the deal is "game-changing," and, as Reuters notes, "represented a bet that viewers would soon no longer make distinctions between content streamed on the Internet or through cable."

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