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Old 09-29-2008   #1
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Default Netflix Enters Agreements With CBS and ABC to Offer TV Shows

Netflix, Inc. has announced separate agreements with the CBS Television Network and Disney-ABC Television Group that will allow current season episodes of a number oftoday's most popular TV shows to be streamed at Netflix. The two deals add meaningfully to a growing library of 12,000 choices that Netflix members can watch instantly on their PCs and TVs as part of their existing subscription plans and without impacting the number of DVDs they receive.

The CBS deal brings to Netflix the global phenomenon "CSI." Starting inOctober, when it returns for a ninth year, current season episodes of theoriginal "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" can be instantly streamed at Netflix. Beginning this week, current season episodes of the hit spin-offs"CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY" join the roster. The CBS agreement includes twoadditional current hit shows, "NCIS," which dramatizes the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and the FBI drama "Numb3rs," from producers Ridley and Tony Scott. "NCIS" returns for its sixth season this week and "Numb3rs" is back for a fifth season in October.

The agreement for Disney Channel content centers on three of the Channel's original series -- "Hannah Montana," "Wizards of Waverly Place," and Disney Channel's newest original series, "The Suite Life on Deck," a spin-off of the hit, Emmy-nominated "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," starring fan favorites Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song and Phill Lewis and introducing Debbie Ryan. The series premieres Friday, September 26. "Wizards of Waverly Place"and "The Suite Life on Deck" can be streamed instantly at Netflix beginning this week, 24 hours after each episode's initial broadcast. Disney Channel's smash hit comedy series "Hannah Montana," starring multi-talented Miley Cyrus,will be available online at Netflix beginning this November. Brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, the deal represents the first Netflix digital icense for Disney-ABC Television Group content since Netflix launched the instant streaming component of its service 18 months ago and is a significant addition to the company's lineup of studio and network partners.

"We are thrilled to enter into these relationships with CBS and Disney Channel and build upon their innovative distribution strategies," said Robert Kyncl, vice president of content acquisition for Netflix. "We have a shared interest in granting fans expanded access to and strengthening the networks' key shows."

The agreements with CBS and Disney Channel also add catalog shows to the library of choices that can be watched instantly at Netflix. Some 500 episodes from Disney Channel's kid-driven, family-inclusive programming library, including previously aired episodes of "The Suite Life of Zack &Cody," "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Hannah Montana," as well as episodes of the popular animated series "The Replacements," "Lilo & Stitch: The Series," "The Emperor's New School" and many others, will come online to Netflix beginning in 2009.

Some 350 CBS episodes covered in the deal include prior seasons of the three "CSI" series and "Numb3rs," the first two seasons of the popular "Jericho" series and, among others, episodes from TV classics such as "Star Trek," "MacGyver," and "Family Ties." The catalog episodes will come online this fall.

As Netflix continues to expand the online content it offers its members, the company is also partnering with leaders in consumer electronics to bring to market a growing number of network devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to subscribers' TVs. The Netflix Player by Roku was introduced in May to strong reviews and Netflix has previously announced plans to instantly stream movies and TV episodes via Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console and LG Electronic's LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player starting this fall.
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