Netflix inks deal for new DreamWorks Animation programming

Netflix Inc. announced on Monday that it is going to start offering original television series from DreamWorks Animation on its streaming website.

Will show more than 300 hours of new children's series

Under the new deal between Netflix and Dreamworks Animation, the video streaming site will offer more than 300 hours of original series pegged to DreamWorks franchises like Shrek and upcoming feature films. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Netflix Inc. announced on Monday that it is going to start offering original television series from DreamWorks Animation on its subscription video streaming website.

Financial terms of the deal between the two entertainment firms were not disclosed.

Netflix says the multi-year agreement is its biggest deal ever for original first-run content and includes more than 300 hours of new programming. It expands on an existing relationship between the companies.

For DreamWorks, the transaction is part of a major initiative to expand its television production and distribution worldwide.

Netflix shifts focus to kids programs

Netflix has been adding original programming to its roster of movies and debuted the original series House of Cards on Feb. 1. It has also increased its focus on children's programming in a move seen as taking a different tack than traditional premium pay TV channels such as HBO, Starz and Showtime, whose original shows are tailored more to adults.

In December, Netflix announced it will offer Disney movies, starting with films released in 2016. It declined to make a similar deal for the rights to Sony movies starting in 2016, which were kept by Starz.

The new DreamWorks shows will be inspired by characters from its hit franchises like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda and upcoming feature films as well as the Classic Media library that DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. bought last year. The television shows will be commercial free.

1st series to air in 2014

The first of the series covered by the new deal is expected to begin airing in 2014 and will be shown in the 40 countries in which Netflix operates.

In February, the companies announced their first Netflix original series for kids based on the film Turbo that is coming out in movie theaters next month. The original series, called Turbo F.A.S.T., will be shown starting in December.

Next year, Netflix customers in the U.S. and Latin America will also have access to some of the newest DreamWorks films, including The Croods and Turbo.

Netflix shares rose $12.29 US, or 5.7 per cent, to $226.28 in morning trading. DreamWorks shares rose $1.69, or 7.4 per cent, to $24.50.