Netflix inked a $1 billion deal with Epix, a new pay TV channel, for the rights to Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate movies. Netflix will have the streaming rights to Hollywood feature films like "Iron Man 2&Prime far earlier than it does now. It's a costly win for Netflix, which has been locking up the rights to films for its "Watch Instantly" service, which allows customers to stream content via the Internet rather than wait for a DVD to arrive in the mail.
And it gives Netflix the ability to compete more evenly with the likes of HBO since the movies will only be on a three-month delay after having first aired on Epix. So, "Great Movie Starring Some Person" is released to theaters, a few months later it appears on Epix, then three months later it can be streamed on your Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, or whatever other device you have that streams Netflix.
The deal will commence Sept. 1.