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Netflix signs Disney film rights deal in the US

Netflix has signed an unprecedented deal with Disney that will let its users in the US stream movies from all Disney divisions, including Pixar.

The deal, which begins in 2016, means that Netflix will be the exclusive US subscription streaming service to feature animated films from all Disney divisions including Marvel, Pixar Animations and Disneynature.

The deal will include first-run rights for Netflix which means users will have access to Disney films as soon as they are released on DVD or for rental.

"It's a bold leap forward for internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.

The rights to show the films first are currently held by another US subscription TV channel called Starz. Meanwhile, Netflix has also acquired the pay-TV rights to new Dreamworks productions, in a deal which begins next year.

Although no figures have been released, critics of the deal have voiced concerns over whether Netflix can afford the investment considering that its share price continued to fall all year after CEO Reed Hastings (pictured above) announced a price hike in 2011. In October, the company revealed that it was failing to attract new customers to its subscription service at the rate that it had originally hoped.

However, markets have responded well to the Disney news with Netflix share prices rising by 14 per cent following the announcement.