The blockbuster deal that Netflix and Disney reached all the way back in 2012 will soon take effect. Beginning in September, Netflix will be allowed to stream all Disney films — including Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm titles — in the same window that they'd typically be made available to HBO, Starz, and other paid TV networks. That's still after the Blu-ray and digital releases, but it's much, much sooner than the long and often unpredictable wait that Netflix customers had to put up with before. All Disney films released theatrically in 2016 and beyond are included in the agreement, for which Netflix is reportedly paying hundreds of millions per year.
The Netflix / Disney exclusivity pact blocks subscription networks like HBO and Starz from procuring Disney's latest hits — at least during that first-run pay TV window — and it also keeps them off Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services. Netflix gloats about this a little in a new blog post meant to stir excitement about new movies and shows that'll be hitting this summer. "From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar," said Ted Sarandos, the company's content boss. It's no doubt a significant boost in the ongoing exclusivity wars between these big streaming companies.