Not content with its commanding lead of the movie download market, Netflix is now looking to start sourcing original content as well. Rumor has it, courtesy of Deadline Hollywood, that Netflix may have recently outbid both HBO and AMC for the rights to a 1990 British miniseries titled House Of Cards.
Negotiations are still going on, but I hear Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4 million-$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal is believed to be worth more than $100 million and could change the way people consume TV shows.
Citing a source familiar with Netflix’s plans, however, the Wall Street Journal clarifies that the final deal amount will most likely be far less than $100 million. Still, Netflix striking a deal whereby it can distribute a show before any other outlet would mark a significant step up from the company’s current role as the purveyor of media via the mail and online streaming. As it stands now, movies available for streaming via Netflix aren’t often the latest releases on account of the premium pricing they command. But with Netflix now appearing willing to fork over some serious cash for licensing rights merely highlights the growing influence and ambitions of the company as a distributor of entertainment.
Just yesterday, NPD released data indicating that 61% of all online movie downloads and streams are from Netflix. Downloads and rentals via iTunes, meanwhile, comprised only 4% of the total.