Netflix watchers no longer have to be desperate about the state of their "Housewives," as the embattled movie and television streaming site has announced an extension of their current contract with Disney-ABC.
The deal includes shows from ABC, ABC Family and The Disney Channel and will allow Netflix to stream new episodes of current shows "30-days after the last episode of each season airs," according to a press release. In addition to the ABC shows already available on Netflix, the site also adds the entirety of "Alias," the popular Jennifer Garner espionage program from the 2000s that was an early hit from producer JJ Abrams.
Abrams' followup show "Lost" will remain available on Netflix, as will "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and other current ABC programming. Netflix also keeps family programs from Disney like "Hannah Montana" and "The Suite Life on Deck" while adding another Disney hit "Kick Buttowski"; this could prove important, as Netflix is slated to lose streaming rights to Disney films in 2012 when its contract with Starz expires and is not renewed.
In a separate release, Amazon Prime -- the Jeff Bezos' fledgling Netflix competitor -- announced a similar deal with the Disney Company, though that deal made no mention of "Alias," "Desperate Housewives," or "Hannah Montana." The Amazon press release cites "800 titles" including "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "Felicity" and several other titles already available on Netflix. At 13,000 movies and TV shows, Amazon Prime is playing catch-up with Netflix, which has been estimated to have over 30,000 titles in its streaming library.
For Netflix, the biggest competition might not be from Amazon or Hulu or Redbox, but rather from itself. Despite picking up "The Walking Dead" and several CW shows in the past month, the news for Netflix has been largely negative since it announced its hugely unpopular pricing changes in July. Following the Qwikster debacle, the company announced that it had lost 800,000 subscribers in the past three months and that it expects to lose money until at least 2012. With contracts with several large movie studios expiring next year, and analysts expecting huge cost increases on the renegotiated deals, Netflix is going to need all of the money it can get.
Financial terms of the new contract with Disney-ABC were not disclosed.