Netflix, MGM strike licensing agreement ahead of launch in the UK, Ireland

When Netflix makes its debut in the UK and Ireland next year, it'll do so with MGM Studios by its side. Today, the two companies announced a new licensing agreement that will give Netflix exclusive regional streaming rights to "most first-run feature films from MGM." Included on that list of movies are The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the prequels to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and 21 Jump Street, among others -- all of which will be available across multiple platforms within one year of their theatrical release. Netflix will also stream a selection of catalog MGM titles, including Fargo, The Usual Suspects, and (snap) West Side Story. Netflix has yet to announce a launch date more specific than "early 2012," and exact pricing remains a mystery, but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, you can find more details and delectable delights in the full PR, after the break.

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Netflix and MGM Announce Multi-Year Premium Pay TV Window Agreement in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Starting In Early 2012, Netflix Members in the UK And Ireland Will Enjoy Instantly Watching High-Quality Films From MGM And Its Distribution Partners

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. today announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive subscription streaming service in the UK and Ireland for most first-run feature films from MGM.

MGM titles will be available for Netflix members in the UK and Ireland to watch instantly in the pay TV window on their televisions, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones, for a low monthly price. Netflix announced last month that it would launch its service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012.

Appearing exclusively on Netflix within one year of their theatrical release will be such films as "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," the highly-anticipated prequels to the Academy Award-winning "Lord of the Rings" trilogy by Peter Jackson, "Zookeeper" starring Kevin James, "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and "21 Jump Street," featuring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube.

An extensive selection of great MGM catalogue titles will also be available on Netflix in the UK and Ireland, including "Capote," "Fargo," "The Usual Suspects," "West Side Story" and "The Amityville Horror."

"We are delighted to be entering the UK and Ireland with a legendary studio like MGM at our side," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. "And we are excited to be extending our relationship with MGM from the U.S. to these important markets and proud to be the exclusive home for their films in the traditional Pay TV window."

"We are thrilled to grow our partnership with Netflix as they expand into the UK and Ireland," said MGM Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum.

"Developing this relationship further will help us bring our films, both old and new, into the homes of our loyal audiences with the great ease Netflix offers customers," said Roma Khanna, MGM's President Television Group and Digital.