Netflix to Stream Marco Polo


Confirming earlier reports, Netflix Inc. (NASD:NFLX) recently announced that it will stream the drama series Marco Polo in late 2014. Originally conceived by The Weinstein Company (TWC), the series will follow the legendary traveler’s tale during a war in 13th century China.

Netflix, which has a licensing partnership with TWC, agreed to produce the series after it was dumped by Starz due to rising costs. TWC will produce nine episodes for Netflix and the filming is set to begin soon at the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia.

This is not the first time that Netflix is reviving a series that met an untimely death. The company produced the season finale of The Killing, which was cancelled by AMC Networks (NYSE:AMC). The company also helped in reviving Emmy Award winner show Arrested Development and streamed all new episodes in May 2013.

Marco Polo will join Netflix’s original shows such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development. The company’s diversified offerings help it to stand out among other content streaming providers such as Amazon (NASD:AMZN), HBO and Hulu.

Netflix’s partnerships with major film studios and production houses have helped it to expand its content portfolio faster than its rivals. These deals have enabled it to venture into different genres like comedy, political thrillers, autobiographies and horror.

The partnerships will help Netflix to stream original shows such as Sense 8 (some time in 2014) and Narcos over the next 12 months. Netflix’s agreement with Walt Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Marvel Entertainment will bring at least four new 13-episode series and a mini-series in 2015.

Although, higher spending on content acquisition is a concern, Netflix’s growing subscriber base and international expansions are major growth factors in the near term.

Currently, Netflix sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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