DVD rental company Netflix Inc said on Tuesday it has reached a deal to provide about 2,500 titles from Starz Entertainment LLC's broadband subscription service to the Netflix's Web streaming service.
Terms were not disclosed.
The deal marks a major milestone for Netflix in its efforts to license newer content for its "Watch Instantly" streaming service, which offers viewing from a library of over 12,000 titles, most of which are older releases.
Netflix and other fledgling online video providers have been struggling to obtain subscription rights for digital delivery from Hollywood studios, particularly for newer release films.
In this case, Starz, a unit of Liberty Media Corp, made an investment in rights to offer subscription movies across all electronic delivery platforms for its "Starz Play" broadband service and is now selling the service through affiliate partnerships such as Netflix. It reached a similar deal with Verizon Communications.
The additional Starz films will be included on the Netflix "Watch Instantly" service at no additional charge to subscribers with unlimited subscription plans, starting at $8.99 a month. Subscribers will also have an opportunity to watch a live feed of the Starz TV network on their PCs.
The first of the Starz titles -- about 1,000 -- are available immediately at the Netflix Web site and more titles will be added in coming weeks, the companies said in a release.
"The coupling of Starz Play with our growing library of streaming content is an important step forward for both companies and for consumer choice," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix.
"Our deal reflects the creative ways we are working with content partners to expand the profile and the number of choices our subscribers can watch instantly over the Internet, in addition to the 100,000 titles we offer on DVD through the mail," he said.
Netflix also said that as part of the deal it will offer a Starz Play-only subscription for $7.99 a month.
Starz said the deal marks a significant step in its efforts to reach affiliate deals for its broadband service.