Universal and Fox Now Delayed With Netflix

Posted April 9th, 2010 at 10:39 am

Back in January Netflix struck the first, of what was expected to be many, deals with distributors to add a delay period before offering DVDs for rent. That first agreement was with Warner Brothers and more recently Redbox announced the same deal with WB. 28 days must pass from when the movies are released in stores to when they would be available through the Netflix service or Redbox vending machines.

Now Netflix has announced agreements with Universal and Fox for a four week delay period on their releases. This will probably be when the reality hits for many as it means that the much anticipated Blu-ray/DVD release of Fox’s Avatar, slated for April 22, will not be available through Netflix until the end of May. The mainstream is going to notice the shift taking place now more than ever, though Avatar is sure to be a huge seller regardless. The first delayed Universal release will be It’s Complicated due out on April 27.

In exchange for delaying the releases Netflix receives a better deal for discs from the distributors along with increased streaming content. Some TV shows that have been specifically cited as benefits to the deal which could now arrive through the streaming service include 24, Lie to Me, Family Guy, and Bones.

In other news announced today, Blockbuster has reached agreements with Universal and Fox to carry the movies for rental on their original release date. They already had that same agreement with Warner Brothers. The struggling company relies heavily on new releases and these deals provide them with an advantage over Netflix and Redbox.

So I guess the question for those affected by the delayed DVD releases for rental…has it changed your buying habits at all? I still have not purchased anything I wouldn’t have otherwise and suspect that will largely be the case for all consumers. I have just started looking at the Netflix dates as the new official dates as opposed to feeling the need to go out and buy a movie to see it.