By Meg James Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures Entertainment have announced an extended content licensing agreement that will bring hundreds of Sony films, including “Jumanji” and “Spider-Man,” to multiple Disney platforms, including Disney + and Hulu. .
The deal, announced on Wednesday, underlines the voracious appetite for content from streaming services.
Disney, which spent $ 71.3 billion to acquire 20th Century Fox film and television studio two years ago for its programming stock, has concluded it needs even more movies and shows from television to win the streaming war. The deal with Sony will also help bolster Hulu’s movie roster.
As part of the deal, Disney will license Sony films that hit theaters from next year through 2026 – once those films complete filming during their initial pay-TV window. In addition, Disney will obtain the rights to Sony’s extensive film library. Disney will have the right to play the Sony product on its various platforms, including the traditional ABC, Freeform, National Geographic and FX Networks, as well as its streaming services.
Earlier this month, Sony announced a separate movie deal with Netflix.
This arrangement also covers Sony’s theatrical slate for 2022-26, including upcoming releases “Morbius,” “Where the Crawdads Sing” and “Bullet Train,” followed by upcoming installments of series such as “Venom.” , “Spiderman”. “Jumanji” and “Bad Boys”. When the first pay-TV window ends – usually after around 18 months – the rights to those movies will transfer to Disney from Netflix.
This means that Disney will get the rights to the new releases at the end of 2023. But starting in June, Disney will reclaim the rights to some of the old content in the library, including “Jumanji” and “Hotel Transylvania” and Marvel characters from Sony Pictures, including Spider -Man.
“This historic, multi-year, platform-independent agreement gives the team at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution enormous flexibility and a wide range of programming possibilities to take advantage of the rich roster of award-winning family and action films. from Sony in our direct consumer services. and linear channels, ”Chuck Saftler, head of business operations for ABC, Freeform, FX Networks and other Disney networks, said in a statement.
“This is a victory for fans, who will benefit from being able to access the best content from two of Hollywood’s most prolific studios on a multitude of viewing and experience platforms,” added Saftler.
Sony, which is one of the few Hollywood studios that does not have its own streaming service, has deployed its forces as streaming companies frantically seek third-party content to power their services. The Sony-Netflix deal was estimated at $ 1 billion over five years.
Financial terms of the Disney-Sony deal have not been released.
Production deals have long generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year for movie studios. Premium cable channels have relied on a constant stream of blockbuster Hollywood movies to keep subscribers engaged.
“This groundbreaking agreement once again confirms the unique and enduring value of our films to moviegoers and the platforms and networks that serve them,” said Keith Le Goy, president of global distribution and networks, Sony, in the statement. .
“We are thrilled to team up with Disney to deliver our titles to their viewers and subscribers. This agreement cements a key part of our film distribution strategy, which is to maximize the value of each of our films, making them available to consumers across all windows with a wide range of key partners. “
LA Times staff writer Ryan Faughnder contributed to this report.
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