In what is to be the first of a string of similar announcements Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc has announced a multi-year licensing agreement with Netflix ahead of its UK launch.
Significantly, the announcement says Netflix will be “the exclusive subscription streaming service in the UK and Ireland for most first-run feature films from MGM.” This shuts out established rival, the Amazon-owned Lovefilm, and potentially pay-TV operators.
‘We are delighted to be entering the UK and Ireland with a legendary studio like MGM at our side,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. “And we are excited to be extending our relationship with MGM from the US to these important markets and proud to be the exclusive home for their films in the traditional Pay TV window”
Movies to which Netflix will have exclusivity include The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the highly-anticipated prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson, Zookeeper starring Kevin James, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and 21 Jump Street, featuring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube. A selection of titles from the MGM library will also be included.
The Netflix service is due to launch in the UK and Ireland early in 2012