Katzenberg eyes extended DreamWorks-Netflix deal

DreamWorks cofounder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that he hopes the programming deal his studio has with Netflix can run for more than the initial three years agreed.

In July DreamWorks sealed a deal to make 300 hours of original animated series for Netflix.

Speaking at MIPCOM in Cannes, Katzenberg told delegates: “The deal is not three years and out, it’s really a five year deal. Three years is where, if it isn’t working, [Netflix] can exit, but we don’t think they will.” Katzenberg added: “We’ll make twelve shows for them over three years and every one needs to be exceptional.”

With the Netflix deal and others including an output agreement with German free-to-air kids service Super RTL, Katzenberg said DreamWorks will accumulate 1,000 episodes of kids TV programming in the next four to five years. It was, he said, unprecedented to build such a large volume of kids shows so quickly.

He added that there were plans to move AwesomenessTV, the online youth-skewed channels business that DreamWork acquired earlier this year, into new areas. It already has boy and girl-skewing offerings and will soon roll out Awesomeness Kids to capture younger viewers.

The DreamWorks boss was, however, cool on the previously mooted idea of his company launching a linear channel. He said that opportunity still existed but that it would take “billions of dollars of investment” to launch an unaffiliated US cable channel before it turned a profit.