Discovery Communications, which owns the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and TLC among other networks, has inked a two-year deal to bring its programming to Netflix.
A host of popular shows from Discovery's networks, including "Man vs. Wild" and "Say Yes to Dress," will be coming to Netflix's streaming. All the content will come from prior seasons and specials. Reuters, which reported on the deal before it was announced, cited sources who said that the deal is limited to the U.S.
The range of content Discovery will be bringing to Netflix is quite extensive. According to the company, it will provide programming from Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, and Military Channel. Programming from Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network, which Discovery has a 50 percent stake in, will not be available on the streaming service.
Netflix's Discovery deal provides the company with a much-needed reprieve from the trouble it has faced with other content providers. Earlier this month, premium movie channel Starz announced that it would pull its content from Netflix in February, and has ceased all contract-renewal talks with the streaming provider. Starz's position was a major blow to Netflix, which has relied upon the company's content, which includes films from Disney and Sony Pictures, to keep customers coming back.
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But it's not just content providers that Netflix is having trouble with right now. The company's recent decision to charge customers who want DVD rentals and streaming more than they had previously been paying was met with great criticism. In response, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings earlier this week issued a public apology to users, saying that he "slid into arrogance" after not communicating the changes his company made to its service.
"I messed up," Hastings wrote in a blog post earlier this week. "It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology."
Hastings also announced that Netflix has spun off its DVD-rental business under the name Qwikster. In addition to film and television show rentals, the company will start offering video game rentals.
However, it appears the damage is done. Many users have balked at the idea of paying for both streaming and DVD rentals, and last week, Netflix was forced to revise its customer growth estimate downward by 1 million subscribers. What's more, shareholders are becoming concerned that Netflix's best days might not be ahead of it. Over the past three months alone, the company's shares are down 47.88 percent to $132.27.
But that's not the end of Netflix's problems. On Friday, Dish will unveil a new service from its newly purchased company, Blockbuster. Although Dish didn't divulge all the details, the event will be called "A Stream Come True," seeming to indicate that Netflix will soon have another streaming challenger to contend with.