Netflix Dances on Blockbuster's Grave, Adding SNL and Frakking Battlestar Galactica To Watch Instantly

In what may be the 21st century content delivery equivalent of hanging your enemy's skulls from the parapet, Netflix has announced a deal to bring Battlestar, every episode of SNL, and more to Watch Instantly the day after Blockbuster's demise.

The deal that Netflix struck with NBC Universal, effective next week, also brings next-day showings of this season's SNL in addition to the entire back catalog. The excellent Friday Night Lights will also be there in its entirety, along with last season's 30 Rock and The Office. It's a particularly significant score for Netflix given that just yesterday, NBC declined Apple TV rentals for fear the dollar price tag would devalue their content.

It's a crowing announcement, as it should be, and in some ways a reminder of everything Blockbuster did wrong. Too slow to recognize the move to digital, too unable to get the right partnerships in place. It's been a dramatically different few years for two companies that aim to do essentially the same thing, as this chart from Consumerist calls out nicely:

Netflix Dances on Blockbuster's Grave, Adding SNL and Frakking Battlestar Galactica To Watch Instantly

And while I'd like to sit here and mourn Blockbuster's demise, Jason's done that already. And I've got a hot date with Starbuck.

Netflix and NBC Universal Announce Agreement to Stream Prior Season Cable and Broadcast TV Series New to Netflix Members
Deal Includes Prior Season Episodes from NBC, USA and Syfy Series As Well as Day-After Broadcast Of "Saturday Night Live"

NEW YORK and BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution today announced an expanded license agreement through which Netflix members can instantly watch a selection of broadcast series from the NBC television network and – for the first time on Netflix – content from some of NBC Universal's popular cable channels.

The multi-year deal kicks off next week and continues the relationship between Netflix and NBC Universal.

The agreement adds significantly to the growing selection of movies and TV episodes that can be streamed instantly from Netflix with memberships starting at $8.99 a month. Among the highlights, Netflix members will be able to instantly watch:

* Episodes from every season of NBC's signature comedy franchise "Saturday Night Live," including day-after broadcast of the upcoming 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons plus hundreds of episodes from the first 35 years of "SNL."
* Every episode from the last season of the multiple Emmy® Award-winning series "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Law & Order: SVU," as well as earlier seasons of those shows renewed for streaming from Netflix under the current deal.
* All prior seasons – and eventually next year's final season – of "Friday Night Lights," the small-town drama surrounding high-school football in Dillon, Tex.
* All prior seasons of USA Network hits "Psych," the comedy featuring James Roday as a fake psychic who solves crimes with his best friend, Dule Hill; the drama "In Plain Sight," starring Mary McCormack as a U.S. Marshal in New Mexico; as well as all seasons of "Monk," starring Emmy® Award and Golden Globe® Award winner Tony Shalhoub in the title role. Prior seasons of all three shows are available to watch instantly at Netflix for the first time.
* More than 75 prior season episodes of Syfy's mainstay "Battlestar Galactica," as well as prior seasons of the network's popular series' "Destination Truth" and "Eureka" – all streaming from Netflix for the first time.

"We are very pleased to continue our successful relationship with Netflix," said Frances Manfredi, executive vice president and general sales manager of cable and non-theatrical sales for NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution, who forged the deal. "We applaud Netflix for recognizing the value of content like 'SNL,' 'Friday Night Lights,' 'Monk,' and 'Battlestar Galactica' to their subscribers."

[Chart credit: Consumerist]