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Netflix, Inc. is an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media available to viewers established in 1997.

As of 2011, Netflix's "Watch Instantly" service holds first-run rights to films from Disney. Netflix also provides current and back-catalog TV programs distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

In November 2013, it was announced that Disney and Marvel TV will provide Netflix with live action series, beginning in 2015, featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries about the Defenders.

In November 2013, Netflix and Marvel Television announced a five-season deal for four Marvel superheroes: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. The deal involves the broadcast of four 13-episode seasons that culminate in a mini-series called The Defenders. Broadcasting is planned to commence in 2015.

In addition to the Marvel Television deal with Netflix, The Walt Disney Company announced that the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars would release its sixth and final season exclusively on Netflix, as well as the previous five seasons and the Clone Wars feature film. The new content was released on Netflix's streaming service March 7, 2014.

Netflix currently has exclusive pay-TV deals with major and mini-major movie studios. Films featured on Watch Instantly include recent releases from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (including Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disneynature, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios).

Other studios providing content on Netflix under license include Disney–ABC Television Group.

On December 4, 2012, Netflix and The Walt Disney Company announced an exclusive multi-year U.S. subscription television service agreement with Netflix for first run of Walt Disney Studios animated and live-action movies. New titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Disneynature will be available from Netflix in September 2016. However, classic titles such as Dumbo, Pocahontas and Alice in Wonderland were made available to Netflix immediately. Direct-to-video new releases were made available in 2013. The agreement came after Disney's announcement in November 2012, that it would be shutting down its web movie service Disney Movies Online on December 31, 2012.

By October 2013, Marvel was preparing four drama series and a miniseries, totaling 60 episodes, to present to video on demand services and cable providers, with Netflix, Amazon, and WGN America expressing interest. In November 2013, it was announced that Disney will provide Netflix with live-action series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries based on the Defenders. Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Netflix was chosen to air the shows, when Disney realized it could use the streaming service as a way to grow the popularity of the characters. He added that, if the characters prove popular, they could become feature films. Shortly after, Melissa Rosenberg was announced to write and executive produce the Jessica Jones series. In December 2013, Marvel confirmed that Drew Goddard will be the executive producer and showrunner for the Daredevil series, and will write and direct the first episode. In a February 2014 interview for the One-Shot All Hail the King, writer/director Drew Pearce confirmed the upcoming Netflix series would exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Later in February, Marvel announced that the Netflix series would be filmed in New York City, beginning in mid-2014, and confirmed that all the series leading to The Defenders would be 13 one-hour episodes each, and The Defenders would be a 4–8 episode miniseries concluding the other series. In March 2014, Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb stated that Daredevil would begin filming in July 2014, with Jessica Jones being the series to follow. Iron Fist and Luke Cage would then follow Jessica Jones before concluding with the Defenders series. In April 2014, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief Joe Quesada stated that the shows would be filming in areas of Brooklyn and Long Island City that still look like the old Hell’s Kitchen, in addition to sound stage work. He also confirmed that the series are set within the MCU, and that, beyond connecting to themselves, would connect with the films and other televisions series. As well, Quesada added that the episodes for each series would be released all at once, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, that has been successful for other Netflix series.

The Netflix shows are increasingly darker than the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe . Overall, "Netflix" is a darker, more dystopic and cynical place, full of anti-heroes, violent vigilantes and sadistic criminals. Unlike the "main" MCU, it is a place where the heroes are far less heroic, and where evil often triumphs over good.

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