Miramax closes streaming deal with Brazil’s Netflix competitor NetMovies

Miramax closes streaming deal with Brazil’s Netflix competitor NetMovies

Miramax has closed a content deal with the Brazilian VOD platform NetMovies, Deadline reports. While NetMovies’ offer also includes DVD rental, this deal focuses on streaming rights.

Thanks to this agreement, NetMovies’ Brazilian subscribers will be able to watch films such as ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘The English Patient,’ ‘City of God,’ ‘Amelie’ and ‘Kill Bill’ from the beginning of next month. The exact number of licensed titles wasn’t announced.

According to NetMovies, supported devices include ‘PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players, iOS and Android tablets and smartphones” with video game consoles in the works.

Miramax has been increasingly exploiting its catalogue digitally, closing deals with Hulu, Facebook and Netflix – it closed a content deal with Netflix for the UK no later than last week.

Yet, this deal is also bad news for Netflix, as NetMovies is one of its most serious competitors in Brazil, a market on which the US company is betting heavily (see our previous post).

As we reported, the lack of depth of its catalogue has been one of the most criticized characteristics of Netflix’s offer in Brazil. On the other hand, NetMovies boasts a library of “35,000 titles,” including Disney’s blockbusters.

As its US challenger, its offer includes both DVD rental and unlimited subscription VOD, starting from a monthly fee of R$14.99 (US$8.30). While the company didn’t inform how many titles are now available for streaming, the figure was of “4,000 titles” in August, not including its recent deals with Disney and Miramax.

NetMovies was one of Brazil’s first VOD players. Part of the VC firm IdeiasNet‘s portfolio from 2006 to 2010, it was sold to Tiger Global Management at the end of last year.

When NetMovies’ CEO Daniel Topel was asked in August how much his will be able to invest in costly content right deals with Hollywood studios compared to Netflix, his answer was bullish:

“I don’t think it’s accurate to say that their acquisition capacity is bigger. Since a US private equity fund with large quantities of capital to invest entered our company [Tiger], we’ve been in a negotiation position in which very few companies are in Brazil. We have an established brand, a user base and we are local. We closed new content distribution deals with studios and we’ll see a considerable increase in our catalogue, not only in terms of quantity of titles but also in terms of quality. We can’t underestimate them [Netflix] but we have the capacity to do damage.”

From Miramax’s perspective, this deal may be as much about NetMovies as it is about Netflix. Hollywood studios have been historically reluctant to put all their eggs in the same basket, and seem prepared to do what it takes to make sure Netflix faces competition overseas.

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