Disney to Get Online, TV Access to Sony Films After Netflix

Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement to broadcast and stream films from rival studio Sony Pictures after they run on Netflix, gaining access to future installments of franchises like “Spider-Man.”

Sony Corp. movies, including those featuring Marvel characters, will be available on Disney outlets. The films may run on the company’s Disney+ or Hulu streaming services, as well as Disney TV networks, the studios said Wednesday. The deal begins next year and runs through 2026. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“This is a win for fans, who will benefit from the ability to access the very best content from two of Hollywood’s most prolific studios across a multitude of viewing platforms and experiences,” said Chuck Saftler, who helped negotiate the deal as head of business operations for ABC, FX and other Disney networks.

Disney to Get Online, TV Access to Sony Films After Netflix

Films traditionally have been released in phases, known as windows, first in theaters, then for purchase or rental at home, and then on subscription TV services such as HBO. Later they become available on more traditional TV.

With the rise of online viewing, the lines between release windows have blurred as studios look to put films out sooner to build up their streaming subscriptions. Sony doesn’t own a major streaming service and has been seeking long-term partners to continue delivering its films to consumers.

Disney’s agreement follows an announcement earlier this month that Netflix Inc. had obtained rights to Sony films after they appear in theaters and for home entertainment purchase or rental. That relationship begins next year and means Netflix will have Sony films before they begin airing on Disney outlets.

Disney will get access to some of Sony’s older library films, such as “Jumanji” and “Hotel Transylvania,” starting as early as June. In particular, the deal is a boost for Hulu, which will need fresh programming as other contracts expire.

“This agreement cements a key piece of our film distribution strategy, which is to maximize the value of each of our films, by making them available to consumers across all windows with a wide range of key partners,” Keith Le Goy, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, said in a statement.

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