Netflix Branches Out with ‘House of Cards’

Netflix is already dominating in the streaming movie department and is now placing a big bet on diversifying its future by playing with a ‘House of Cards.’

According to Deadline, Netflix has won a high stakes bidding war against HBO, AMC, and other big cable providers to distribute the original series ‘House of Cards’ exclusively to their subscribers. This would mark Netflix’s first foray into original programming since it was founded 14 years ago. If proven successful it certainly won’t be their last.

‘House of Cards’ is the high profile project to be executive produced and directed by The Social Network’s David Fincher and also executive produced and star Kevin Spacey. The pilot and series is based on the book by Michael Dobbs and 1990 British miniseries set during the end of the Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister era where a politician has his eye on the big job. Spacey would presumably be playing the politician.

In order to secure the rights to ‘House of Cards,’ which are still being negotiated, Netflix had to commit to 26 episodes or 2 full seasons up front. That’s a big gamble expected to cost upward of $100 million for the movie subscription service to fulfill.

Earlier today the NPD Group reported that Netflix accounted for more than 6 out of every 10 movies watched online in January and February, or over 13% of all home entertainment movie viewing. The next closest competitor in the online movie watching space was Comcast’s VOD service at a paltry 8%.

Netflix will be moving into the episodic programming space where HBO, Showtime and other premium channels have thrived. Where Netflix will have the leg up is in the shorter time it takes for a new theatrical film to reach their service versus a pay cable channel.

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