Netflix original programming
Netflix announced today that it has secured the exclusive rights to distribute the serial House of Cards through their internet video streaming service.
This is a groundbreaking venture for Netflix who has previously licensed properties from other content holders, such as Starz, NBC Universal, Fox, Sony Pictures, and others. This exclusive arrangement means this program will only be available from Netflix.
House of Cards features Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey’s first regular role in a series, and the pilot will be directed by Oscar-nominated David Fincher (The Social Network, Zodiac). The show is based on a novel about British politics under the Margaret Thatcher government. The first season is scheduled to have 26 consecutive hour-long episodes, and Netflix has said it’s possible the episodes will be released in batches instead of one per week.
With 20-million subscribers, Netflix has nearly matched HBO’s 28-million subscribers. HBO has rejected attempts by Netflix to license their property for instant streaming, including popular dramas such as The Sopranos, The Wire and Treme. It appears Netflix will be challenging established pay-TV distributors for content going forward.
Netflix currently has more than 20,000 streaming titles in their library, with subscriptions starting at just $8 per month. HBO is usually bundled into premium programming packaging which can cost at least $13 per month.