November 27, 2018
Netflix reportedly is about acquire exclusive streaming rights to late author Roald Dahl’s extensive library of renowned children’s books, including George’s Marvellous Medicine, Boy and Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits, among others.
Dahl’s books have reportedly sold more than 200 million copies globally.
The deal — first reported by Sky News in the United Kingdom — would enable Netflix to create original animated and live-action children’s content. It would also be a feather in the cap for Melissa Cobb, VP of kids and family entertainment, who was specifically hired away from DreamWorks Animation last year to up the SVOD pioneer’s profile in children’s programming.
“We know that there is no one type of family,” Cobb said earlier this month when Netflix announced an ambitious family-friendly program slate going forward. “We embrace all kinds of creators, so we can tell unique and diverse stories that resonate with each and every Netflix family.”
While details of the agreement with The Roald Dahl Story Co. remain under wraps, Netflix has made no secret its desire to spend top dollar acquiring IP exclusivity.
The service, which ended its most-recent fiscal period with 130 million paid subscribers worldwide, in late October raised $2 billion in a bond (debt) sale earmarked for capital expenditures.
Netflix also ended the quarter with $18.6 billion in third-party content obligations, excluding $8.3 billion in long-term debt.