Lovefilm fires back at Netflix with Warner Bros. deal

The U.K. company will be the exclusive streaming provider of Warner Bros. films during the second window of availability.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Lovefilm has inked a deal with Warner Bros.
Lovefilm has inked a deal with Warner Bros. Greg Sandoval/CNET

After Netflix announced key partnerships for its U.K. and Ireland streaming service earlier this week, its chief competitor in those countries has fired back with one of its own.

Lovefilm announced today that it has inked a streaming deal with Warner Bros. that will make its service the exclusive provider of the studio's films in the "second window." In other words, after the films are made available on pay TV in the first window, they will exclusively come to Lovefilm next.

According to the companies, the deal will go into effect in December, and will initially provide Lovefilm customers with access to "The Dark Knight," "The Hangover," and "Gran Torino." A "regular flow of Warner Bros. recent movies" will be coming to Lovefilm's streaming service after that.

Lovefilm, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year, needed a deal to fend off Netflix's barrage. Earlier this week, Netflix announced that it had signed an exclusive streaming deal with Lionsgate, and just yesterday, the company said that it had also signed an agreement that will bring Miramax content to its European streaming service when it launches early next year and starts to wage war on Lovefilm, the U.K.'s top Netflix look-alike.

However, Lovefilm is about more than just streaming. And its deal with Warner Bros. reflects that. The companies said today that Warner Bros. films will be available to Lovefilm's DVD and Blu-ray rental customers 60 days after their retail release. The studio's digital copies will continue to be available for Lovefilm customers to purchase or rent online.