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Netflix hopes you won't mind losing access to some big movies

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 30, 2015
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Here's hoping that you weren't bent on watching The Hunger Games: Catching Fire or World War Z on Netflix -- if so, you don't have much time to do it. Netflix has confirmed that it won't renew its longstanding movie deal with Epix, which will lead to many Lionsgate and MGM titles disappearing from the service come September. The company hopes you won't mind, though. As Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos points out, there are legions of original shows lined up -- Netflix is betting that you'll be too busy watching Narcos to worry that a favorite flick just disappeared.

And where is Epix going? If you believe Recode, it's not giving up on third-party services altogether. Reportedly, it's is "likely" to sign a deal with Hulu instead. That's bad news for folks outside of the US (where Hulu is virtually non-existent), but it beats losing all subscription-based access.

Whatever happens, it's clear that Netflix is making a calculated move to get as much popular content as it can without breaking the bank. As you might gather, content agreements like the one with Disney are expensive -- it could be difficult to preserve absolutely every deal when only some of them are likely to translate to more subscribers. Moreover, it's getting difficult to offer a truly wide selection when there's a race to snap up exclusives. Like it or not, you may have to subscribe to more than one streaming provider (or rent the missing titles) to cover your typical viewing habits.

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