Netflix is actively pursuing an exclusive online streaming deal with startup pay-TV channel Epix—a move that would mean access to powerhouse studios Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. Netflix will reportedly pay around $1 billion for the five-year deal.

The move would be a logical step for Netflix, given their vocal ambition to fork over substantial cash to up their streaming offerings, and would add big ticket titles like Iron Man 2 and Hot Tub Time Machine to the online catalog. All Things D points out, however, that an exclusive deal with Epix wouldn't spare online viewers from Hollywood's stubborn "windowing" system, which forces rental availability to lag behind DVD and Blu-ray release dates. [LA Times via All Things D]