Netflix, in discussions to expand its footprint with U.S. cable television operators, has entered into its first series production deal with a major Hollywood studio.
The company, which streamed political thriller “House of Cards,” said it has ordered a new psychological thriller series from Sony Pictures Television and the creators of the FX legal drama “Damages.”
The 13-episode first season, from the unit of Sony Corp., will premiere exclusively for Netflix members to watch instantly, the company said Monday.
“House of Cards,” a sleek political drama from a small production company led by actor Kevin Spacey, was released in a similar manner by Netflix early this year.
Its success with critics elevated the stature of progamming delivered solely over the Internet, a field that is attracting the biggest names in Silicon Valley and a roster of A-list Hollywood stars.
Cable television operators have been leery of the potential competition presented by Netflix and other Silicon Valley newcomers, but that hesitation may be fading. Netflix, which began as a video rental service, is discussing with several U.S. cable operators the inclusion of its streaming video service on their set-top boxes, a source said Monday.
Netflix is in talks with companies that include Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications, said the person, who is familiar with the discussions. A sticking point in talks has been the direct connection of the Netflix network to the cable companies’ Internet service provider systems — a setup that Netflix believes will offer consumers the best experience. Analysts said such video content deals with cable operators have been anticipated.
Netflix shares rose Monday $23.51 to close at $324.36 on the Nasdaq exchange.