Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

With an Eye on Viacom, Netflix Adds More Kids’ Shows From Disney

netflix disney jake and the piratesDo you use Netflix to babysit your kids? Me, too. So, good news for us: The streaming video service is adding five new shows from Disney’s Disney Junior and Disney XD cable channels.

Netflix is adding “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and “Tron: Uprising” today; later this month they will be joined by “Handy Manny,” “Special Agent Oso” and “JoJo’s Circus.” As with all of Netflix’s TV deals, this is a catalog pact, which means the service won’t get its hands on shows until after they’ve aired at least once on regular TV.

Netflix has had other deals with Disney for many years, and late last year announced its most significant one, which will bring the company’s most prominent movies, including its Pixar films and its “Star Wars” sequels, to the service. So there’s nothing dramatically different here.

What is of interest is the timing of the deal: It comes as Netflix’s current deal with Viacom, which provides the service with a ton of kids’ programming, is about to expire.

Netflix has already announced that it intends to let the Viacom deal lapse at the end of this month, and wants to replace it with deals for individual shows (just like the Disney deal). Neither company had any comment today on the status of those negotiations. But I’m guessing that Netflix thinks this deal strengthens its hand.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work