Netflix Makes Major Move Toward Original Streaming Content

A major player in streaming online content is gunning for the big boys in original programming.

Netflix is believed to be in talks to launch its own bastion of original programming as the company aims to better compete with the likes of HBO.

If such a deal were to come to fruition it would add a new competitor to the television industry by increasing the degree to which Netflix vies with premium-cable television channels like Time Warner Inc.’s HBO.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix has apparently out-bid competing networks and is now in advanced discussions to secure the rights to 26 episodes of House of Cards, a new political drama starring Kevin Spacey. Spacey’s spokeswoman, Staci Wolfe, “confirmed the talks.”

Netflix has reportedly slapped better than $100 million on the table to seal the deal, although sources tell the WSJ that the actual amount is much less. Nonetheless, Netflix is clearly willing to front no shortage of cash to start a process that could make the company a major player in original streaming content.

Netflix’s bid to license original content could prove disruptive to established players in home entertainment, who also charge monthly fees for programming. Netflix’s cheaper prices and ability to deliver programming when and where users want it could make the company a potent challenger.

Earlier this week, market research firm NPD Group issued a report indicating that Netflix now accounts for “61% of all digital movie watching.”