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Media Watch: Media Moguls Head for Sun Valley Summer Camp, Relativity Pics on Netflix

Media Watch: Media Moguls Head for Sun Valley Summer Camp, Relativity Pics on Netflix

Thompson on Hollywood

– It’s known as the summer camp for moguls, writes THR, and Apple God Steve Jobs is probably not coming to the party (he’s only attended twice). In it’s 28th year, Allen & Co.’s event in Sun Valley, Idaho hosts a range of key media and tech players. They park their private jets and spend their time talking business, dodging media reporters and riding bikes in the high altitude. While their families play in the resort, the moguls will likely discuss such pressing issues as growth strategies post-recession, mergers and acquisitions like the Comcast/NBC Universal deal, and the future of 3-D on film and elsewhere.

– Relativity Media, LLC will now release its major theatrically-released films exclusively to Netflix for streaming, bypassing the pay-TV window (for HBO, Showtime, Starz) and other output deals entirely. The films will be available for streaming via Netflix within months of their theatrical release, creating a new revenue avenue for the films. Up first will be The Fighter with Christian Bale and Skyline from the brothers Strause, as well as the Sundance doc hit Catfish. Here’s The Wrap.

Planning to finance and/or produce 20-30 films a year, Relativity helped to finance Universal’s Robin Hood, Get Him to the Greek and Grown Ups. As Netflix’s ‘watch instantly’ increases in allure and popularity, deals such as this one will increase the content range and meet user expectations. “Our continued goal is to expand the breadth and timeliness of films and TV shows available to stream on Netflix,” stated Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “Historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release. Through our partnership with Relativity, these films will start to become available to our members just months after their DVD release.”

Since studios Lionsgate, Paramount and MGM abandoned Showtime,they launched Epix on October 30, which streams their films in the Pay-TV window.

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For indie market, the Relativity/Netflix deal could be a game changer. Indie movies and foreign movies are more and more difficult to get picked up by pay-tv channel, so specialty distributor may be able to get more money by making similar deal with Netflix. (indie movies and foreign movies tend to do better in Netflix than many other video stores.)


I’d like to find a backer for an “Old Media” conference–devoted to the preservation of VHS, audiocassettes, 16mm and Super 8 film, and vinyl records. And paperback books! (Of course, at the rate we’re going, CDs and DVDs will soon qualify as “old media.”) Calling all “last adopters”!

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