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Walt Disney Co Backs Netflix, Inc. In Time Warner Inc Dispute

Walt Disney Backs Netflix, Inc. In Time Warner Inc Dispute

Disney’s CEO declares his support for Netflix, following Time Warner’s decision to withhold content from the latter.

While the world, or better yet, viewers across the world, may be quite smitten with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) but other businesses do not feel the same way. To be more specific Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)

As reported earlier by Business Finance News, that during an earnings call, Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes announced that he was contemplating delaying their content licensing agreements with online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. However, it seems as if not all big media companies are against the online streaming giant. Not even 24 hours after Mr. Bewkes’ statements, TheStreet reported that Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) CEO Robert Iger had decided to a stand, but on Netflix’s side.

During an investor conference call, Mr. Iger said: “It’s really important for us — I can’t speak for the whole industry — to maintain flexibility because it’s a dynamic marketplace that continues to change. When we made these decisions to sell these shows to Netflix, those decisions made the most sense for us, in terms of the economics.”

Mr. Iger’s stance should come as no surprise since the two (Netflix and Disney) have become mutually beneficial partners. Last month, Disney sold the first season of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” to the SVOD leader. This accompanies the older licensing deal regarding Marvel-based content and characters between the two.

Marvel Vs DC = Disney/Netflix Vs Time Warner

Disney licensing deal with Netflix regarding Marvel has had a significantly positive impact for the two companies. As a result of the deal, Netflix released Marvel’s Daredevil earlier this year. The show received an instant hit status, not only bringing home raving reviews but also earning an 8.9 rating on IMDb. The SVOD leader is, at present, scheduled to release Marvel’s Jessica Jones by the end of this month, while Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and The Defenders are slated for next year.

And since the Marvel series serves as a direct competitor to the DC series and the fact that the majority of the latter’s characters’ licensing deals lie with Time Warner, the media and entertainment company’s conflict with Netflix is (slightly) justifiable.

Over the past few years, Marvel (Disney) has always managed to overshadow DC (Time Warner), most credited to the 2008 Iron Man movie, starring Robert Downey Jr. The movie resulted not only in a mega-blockbuster movie franchise comprising of the Avengers movie series but also shows based on, and following the same timeline/storyline as the movie; such as Marvel Agents of Sheild, Agent Carter and (previously mentioned) Daredevil.

However, thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight (Batman) trilogy, the 2013 Man Of Steel (Superman), and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman; Dawn Of Justice (slated for February 2016), the DC universe is slowly gaining popularity. This could be one of the possible reasons behind Time Warner’s hesitance to allow immediate availability of is DC comic-based characters shows onto Netflix, since it may result in the loss of viewership on the channel on which the shows currently air. Gotham, currently airs on Monday on FOX, while The Flash comes at 8 pm EDT on Tuesday on the CW, and the Arrow airs at the same time, the next on CW.

Another possible reason for Time Warner’s hesitance could be that Netflix’s reputation (and in certain instances, appeal) of airing an entire season of any show in one day. Many people hate the single episode per week system and thus may be compelled to wait a few months for Netflix to air the entire season. Business Finance News, however, believes that the likelihood of such an occurrence is significantly small, and if it does happen, only a minuscule percentage of the population will be willing to wait, i.e. due to the nature of such shows; most of whom reveal important details and clues, not only about the future of the show but also the mega-blockbuster movies to which they are linked.

TV Is Not The Final Frontier

Netflix currently holds a diverse portfolio of products, including shows, films, and documentaries. Over the past few years, the company has, undoubtedly, managed to create a name for itself in the television industry. The SVOD leader’s original shows have, to a certain extent, managed to grab a hold of every single person in the world. However, the company does not plan to just limit itself to TV series, its next step takes it into the world of movies. The streaming video giant recently released its first original movie, titled the Beast of No Nation, starring award-winning actor Idris Elba as an African warlord. The movie received glowing reviews at the London Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, receiving the “Best Film” and “Golden Lion” award, respectively. The movie is also believed to have the potential to earn the company an Academy Award (Oscar). The company is scheduled to release more original movies during the next year.

Netflix Has Other Things To Focus On

At present, Netflix is making huge strides to increase its international availability. It plans to reach 200 countries by the end of next year and taking into account the company’s recent launches, Business Finance News is confident that the company will be able to reach its global expansion targets with ease. Back in August, the SVOD leader’s officially marked its presence in the Asian marking, launching services in Japan. And since then, the company has entered a new region almost every month. October witnessed the video streaming giant’s entrance in three main European markets; Spain, Italy, and Portugal. Further expansion in the Asian market is slated for early 2016 when it plans to enter Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Conclusion

Taking all the factors into account, Business Finance News is confident that Time Warner’s threat will have no significant impact on the SVOD leader. With friends like Disney ready to back it up and its global expansion plans already underway, amongst several other projects, it seems like nothing can stop the company in what can be called its mission to take over the world.

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