While Netflix's original programming has garnered the lion's share of attention lately, the company is steadily building up its arsenal of licensed content — and now Variety reports that the company has snatched pay-TV exclusivity for Weinstein Company films away from Showtime. As it currently stands, Weinstein Company films like Lee Daniels' The Butler hit theaters, then home video, and then move on to subscription television channels — HBO, Showtime, and the like. Showtime has had those rights to itself, but starting with Weinstein films released to theaters in 2016, they'll belong to Netflix instead.
The streaming media giant already has similar agreements in place for The Weinstein Company's assortment of documentaries and foreign film imports, like last year's Oscar-winner The Artist. This isn't the first big deal Netflix has put into place lately, either. Earlier this year it signed a deal with DreamWorks Animation for feature films and a slate of new original programming, and last year it sewed up exclusive first-run subscription TV rights for Disney films — including Pixar and Marvel properties. The Disney deal also goes into effect with 2016 releases. Together with The Weinstein Company's slate it should help Netflix to continue to redefine itself for customers — from an add-on internet service, to a true television channel that just happens to be online.