Netflix and CBS strike streaming deal for classic TV shows
The technology of the future is being used in hopes of giving life to TV shows of the past.
CBS Corp. has cut a deal with Netflix to give its customers access to classic TV including "Star Trek," "Cheers," "Twin Peaks" and "Family Ties."
The two-year, non-exclusive deal will allow Netflix customers to stream online assorted CBS-owned library content along with the various other movies and television product Netflix offers for streaming, at prices that start at $7.99 per month.
What the deal does not include is many current CBS shows. That's because the network is wary of potentially hurting the rerun value of the shows on its schedule. Only two recent programs -- "Medium" and "Flashpoint" were cited as part of the deal. "Medium" is already sold into reruns, and "Flashpoint" is a summer series whose long-term future is undetermined.
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, it could put north of $200 million into CBS' pockets for two years. CBS can extend the deal for up to two more years.
"This deal recognizes the increasing value of our content in today's marketplace," said CBS Television Distribution President Scott Koondel.
In December, Netflix struck a far-reaching streaming deal with Walt Disney Co. for product from its ABC network as well as cable channels ABC Family and Disney Channel. That pact, which was for one year with options, was valued at between $150 million and $200 million. Unlike the CBS deal, it includes access to more current programming, including recent episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Brothers & Sisters."
-- Joe Flint
Photo: "Twin Peaks," which starred, from left, Lara Flynn Boyle, James Marshall and Sherilynn Fenn, will be available for streaming on Netflix. Credit: Associated Press