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Netflix lands post-theater streaming rights to new Sony films

Netflix has inked a new deal with Sony Pictures that will allow the streaming service to offer movies from the production company several weeks after they appear in theaters.

The agreement takes effect in early 2022 and covers new installments of the “Spider-Man” and “Venom” franchises along with highly-anticipated titles like “Where the Crawdads Sing” and “Bullet Train.”

The deal runs for five years and includes an option for Netflix to acquire films from Sony that are intended for distribution exclusively on streaming services.

“Sony Pictures is a great partner, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” Scott Stuber, Netflix’s global executive in charge of films, said in a statement. “This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new intellectual property to Netflix in the United States, but it also establishes a new source of first run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The rights to the Sony releases were auctioned off, and several streaming services bid on them, which drove the price up, according to sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal.

The move is considered more of a win for Netflix than for Sony, in that it allows Netflix to obtain fresh content from Marvel Studios. Marvel, which is owned by Disney, has an agreement that extends a license to Sony Pictures concerning several comic book characters. Other Marvel Studios films are exclusive to Disney’s own streaming service, Disney Plus.

The deal replaces a similar agreement between Sony Pictures and Starz, the premium movie network operated by competing film studio and distributor Lionsgate. Starz will continue to offer movies from Sony’s catalog through the end of this year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).