What started with “Turbo,” has taken off and become one of Netflix’s largest original content deals.
DreamWorks Animation has brokered an exclusive multi-year deal to provide Netflix with over 300 hours of new programming for Netflix’s Just For Kids block of films and TV shows. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As Netflix looks to increase the number of original shows it produces – which already includes “Lilyhammer,” “House of Cards,” “Hemlock Grove,” “Arrested Development,” and the upcoming “Derek” and “Orange is the New Black” – the DreamWorks Animation deal will significantly increase the hours of new content it can offer subscribers without having to foot the bill to produce the shows itself. Still the first-run rights aren’t expected to be cheap for Netflix.
“DreamWorks Animation is a valued partner in our global efforts to provide families the most engaging stories delivered however, whenever and wherever they want,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “This deal represents a major expansion of what’s already a phenomenal relationship, allowing us to bring beloved DreamWorks characters to the 40 countries where Netflix operates and setting the stage for us to innovate together as we expand into new markets.”
DreamWorks Animation has been looking for ways to ramp up its internal TV biz and had been considering the launch of its own branded cable TV channel.
But the Netflix deal now will give DreamWorks Animation a branded section inside the Just For Kids section through which it can distribute its shows. Series will based on characters from its film franchises like “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How To Train Your Dragon,” the way it’s adapted series based on the latter two that already air on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, respectively.
In February, Netflix and DreamWorks announced that “Turbo F.A.S.T,” an animated series based on July’s “Turbo” would become their first ever Netflix Original Series for kids when it starts airing in December.
Before that, Netflix also had locked down the exclusive digital rights in the U.S. and Latin America for DreamWorks Animation films, starting with “The Croods,” “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” in 2014.
But the Netflix deal now will also enable DreamWorks Animation to produce shows based on properties in the Classic Media library like “Archie,” “Fat Albert,” “Felix the Cat,” “Lassie” and “The Lone Ranger,” and introduce the characters to a growing young generation that’s increasingly turning to mobile devices to access entertainment.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg called the deal an “unprecedented commitment to original content in the internet television space.”
Netflix launched a Just for Kids section of its sites with TV shows aimed at kids age 12 and under in August 2011.
Overall deal with DWA covers Netflix subscribers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe. The first series aren’t expected to stream on Netlix until 2014.
Netflix has more than 36 million members in 40 countries. Its 29.17 million subs in the U.S. pushed it ahead of rival HBO for teh first time in April.