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Netflix just delivered a huge blow to Disney

Published Aug 14th, 2017 11:03PM EDT
Netflix vs. Disney
Image: Shutterstock

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It was just last week that Disney declared a streaming war on Netflix by announcing plans to create two streaming services for movies and sports. Disney also said that come 2019, it’ll stop licensing new movies to its future rival. Netflix, meanwhile, stated that it’s still negotiating rights to some of Disney’s most popular franchises, including the Star Wars and Marvel movies. At the same time, however, it looks like Netflix has been working on a massive anti-Disney move for quite some time.

Netflix scored a huge deal, The Wall Street Journal reports, by hiring none other than Shonda Rimes away from Disney’s ABC.

Rimes, who created incredibly popular shows including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, will make original shows for Netflix in the near future through her ShondaLand company. All the while, she will continue working on the ABC titles that are still in production.

This is a big blow to Disney, as it comes while the company is working on its own movies and TV series channel. To give you an idea of how important Rhimes is for Disney, you should know her pop shows brought in over $2 billion in revenue from advertising, reruns, and licensing in the 15 years she worked for ABC.

“I’m thrilled by the idea of a world where I’m not caught in the necessary grind of network television,” Rhimes said.

Working for Netflix, she’ll have a lot more freedom to create the kind of shows she wants, she said, as regular TV rules don’t necessarily apply.

It’s unclear how much Netflix paid to get her signature, but Rhimes’s deal with Disney was worth more than $10 million a year not including royalties for all her shows.

Also going to Netflix are 30 ShondaLand employees and Rhimes’s longtime producing partner Betsy Beers (on the right in the top image).

That said, neither Netflix nor Rhimes announced any new TV show, so we’ll just have to wait and see what her first Netflix series will be.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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