In the latest in the race between Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) to build a better digital library, Netflix has signed a deal with MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) to stream more than 400 episodes of Nickelodeon shows and South Park to subscribers of its service.
The deal adds fresh content to Netflix, whose library of live streamed television shows is smaller than many online video aggregators. For its part, Blockbuster recently announced it would rent and sell movies through the TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO) set-top box several weeks before they become available through Netflix.
Though Blockbuster maintains a sizable lead over Netflix, with over $5 billion in revenue to Netflix's $1.4 billion, Netflix's revenue grew 12 percent last year, while Blockbuster's fell 5 percent. Under the new Neftlix deal, every episode from the first nine seasons of South Park will be available immediately along with over 300 episodes of various Nickelodeon series, including Blues Clues, Dora the Explorer, iCarly, True Jackson, VP, and SpongeBob SquarePants. It's the first time Netflix has streamed South Park content, but is an extension of an existing deal between Netflix and MTVN; Netflix currently streams shows from MTVN's LGBT-oriented Logo network.
By Rory Maher