EPIX, allow us to refresh you, it's a network launched last year by Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate that brings their movies home (though often unfortunately cropped and zoomed to 16x9) through a linear channel, video on-demand or internet streaming. Under this new agreement, movies from those studios can come to Netflix 90 days after they debut on the premium pay-tv and subscription VOD services. While that means streamers won't get access to Iron Man 2, The Expendables, or Dinner for Shmucks anywhere near day-and-date with their DVD or Blu-ray releases, those kinds of high profile flicks will show up and stick around with greater regularity than we've been used to. The companies haven't released further details, but rumors reported by the L.A. Times suggest licensing costs could reach $1 billion over the next 5 years. The first movies covered by the new deal arrive September 1, likely with flicks from the Star Trek, James Bond and Indiana Jones series (hopefully not Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) among them.
Update: Analyst Dan Rayburn claims on Business of Video that Netflix won't be getting any EPIX movies in HD, so we asked Netflix VP of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey whether we could expect HD streaming movies with Movie Parties or if they would have Starz-like restrictions. The answer? "HD over time and no restrictions on Party Viewing." Take from that what you will.