Netflix in Talks for HOUSE OF CARDS Deal

Netflix

Netflix reportedly is in negotiations for a deal to distribute HOUSE OF CARDS, a political-thriller drama series starring and produced by Kevin Spacey, as well as directed and executive produced by David Fincher.

According to Deadline.com, Netflix has successfully outbid major cable networks, including HBO and AMC, to air/stream and market House of Cards on its internet platform. This deal would be Netflix’s first foray into original programming. While the deal has not yet been officially confirmed, we can be certain that the price tag will be high, considering the unprecedented commitment of 26 episodes (two seasons) to secure the series. This also goes against the usual practice of having to make a test episode or pilot. The deal could be worth more than $100 million.

In the past, Netflix has always said that original programming held little interest for them. This current move would put the video streaming service in direct competition with cable channels like HBO. Netflix faces further competition from Amazon.com and Facebook. Last month Amazon.com announced it was offering Instant Video streaming subscriptions to Amazon Prime customers, while last week Facebook announced an “experiment” with Warner Bros. Television to offer for rental the movie The Dark Knight directly through the social media service, with its credits acting as the payment method.

Amazon.com’s announcement was closely followed by Netflix’s own news that they were signing a two year deal for nonexclusive rights to stream CBS shows. In 2010, Netflix already made a deal with independent film producer Relativity Media, as well as a deal that will pay nearly $1 billion over five years for the online streaming rights to movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. So it would seem that Netflix has been giving much thought to the expansion and diversification of its company.

If Netflix succeeds in obtaining distribution rights to House of Cards, it could convert more people to the idea of watching original television series through the Internet, opening the door to another level of media entertainment and perhaps making the streaming of original programming inevitable.