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Netflix Drops $75 Million For Rights to Mad Men

by Sean P. Aune | April 6, 2011April 6, 2011 6:00 pm PDT

Netflix ButtonThere seems to be no stopping the Netflix acquisition machine. Whether it be picking up an original series like House of Cards, or throwing down $100 million on a multi-year contract with Miramax, the video business is picking up the rights to content for its Watch Instantly service like its going out of style.  Now you can add between $75 to $100 million for the rights to the critically acclaimed Mad Men.

The new deal begins in July when the four completed series of Mad Men will be available for streaming.  The fifth season will be added once the entire season has aired on AMC, and similar deals will follow for the just agreed upon sixth and seventh seasons.  “Mad Men has been and continues to be a representation of TV at its best and Netflix is proud to be the syndication home for this acclaimed series,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “This deal secures long term instant access to an iconic show for Netflix members for years to come.”

“We’re delighted to partner with Netflix to begin our syndication of  Mad Men,” said Lionsgate President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Steve Beeks.  “We have ensured Mad Men’s value for years to come by layering (this) unique syndication deal with a leading digital distribution partner on top of last week’s licensing agreement with AMC.”

While the exact dollar amount for the deal has not been disclosed, it is reportedly around $1 million per episode for all seven seasons.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is also currently in talks with NBC Universal to add more of its back catalog content to the Watch Instantly service.  Netflix is currently offering no comment on the NBC deal, and there is no word as to when that deal may be finalized.

It’s obvious that Netflix is extremely serious about the streaming video portion of its business, which is good for consumers, but there has to be an end to the amount of money it can spend at some point.  The Miramax deal secured around 700 films for about the same amount of money they spent just for Mad Men.  While there is something to be said for quality over quantity, subscribers will get a lot more out of 700 movies then seven seasons of a TV show no matter how good it is.

What do you think?  Was Netflix spending so much for Mad Men a good idea?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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