What Is Netflix's (NFLX) Next Big Move?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Not content with merely attracting cable cord-cutters, Netflix (NFLX) will now target a new segment: theatergoers. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos discussed Netflix's next big move during his keynote speech at the 2013 Film Independent Forum.

"What we're trying to do for TV, the model should extend pretty nicely to movies. Why not premiere movies on Netflix the same day they're opening in theaters?" asked Sarandos. "As theater owners try to strangle innovation in distribution, not only are they going to kill theaters, they might kill movies."

Distribution restrictions currently include a one-year time period between screenings of tent-pole film releases in theaters and on pay-television channels.

During a recent third-quarter conference call, Chief Financial Officer David Wells expressed frustration with current restrictions.

"We are kind of held to the traditional pay model, meaning movies are not coming to Netflix until they hit pay television," he said. "Even though that window is moving, I don't know if it is moving aggressively enough for people who have experienced a more in-demand and on-demand lifestyle."

Speaking with Deadline, John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, expressed his disapproval of Netflix's plans. "Subscription movie services and cheap rentals killed the DVD business, and now Sarandos wants to kill the cinema as well," he said.

Reacting to Sarandos' suggestion of same-day releases for theaters and Netflix, Fithian said, "It makes absolutely no business sense to accelerate the release of the lowest value in the chain."

Separately, streaming giant Netflix sealed a deal with CBS  (CBS) to host all seasons of popular TV series Dexter. Netflix lost access to the series in 2011 after CBS pulled its content on fears it was slighting its pay-TV providers over exclusivity. 

If you liked this article you might like

7 Essential Rules for Investing in Tech Stocks

Politics Hang Heavy Over FCC's Review of Sinclair-Tribune Media

Microsoft's New Xbox One X Shows It's Done Trying to Please Everyone

Cord Cutters Aren't Just Leaving Pay-TV Because of Price

Netflix Shares Could Rise 16% on Big Boost in Subscribers