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Netflix, Amazon ink video streaming deals with Disney

Interwebulator Walt beams up 'money for old rope' line

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Netflix and Amazon have extended existing content deals with Walt Disney Company in a clear sign that the meeja world wants online video streaming to become big business Stateside and, presumably, beyond.

The separate agreements also open up Disney's access to a nascent marketplace, allowing the media firm to sell licences to stream old TV shows and films to the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Under the deal with Netflix, telly episodes from ABC Studios, Disney Channel and the ABC Family will be added to its current library of content.

It will also continue to provide its subscribers with access to every episode of ABC shows, which include Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Lost.

Meanwhile, Amazon's content extension agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group will gift its $79 per year Prime customers in the US with instant streaming of a large collection of shows from ABC Family, ABC Studios, Marvel and Disney Channel.

On this side of the pond Amazon-owned Lovefilm has been experimenting with its own video-streaming offers to subscribers who currently received their movies and TV boxsets via snail mail.

Netflix is coming to the UK in early 2012. Like Lovefilm, the company bundles video streaming and DVD rentals together in the US. Whether the same service will be offered here is yet to be revealed.

It would be a brave move indeed if Netflix pursues subscribers with an online-only stream of content. Arguably such a move could be a bit, well, Mickey Mouse. ®

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