The latest Netflix content deal, which makes available  previous seasons of The CW shows, plays to the rental service’s strength. Even though it’s known as a source of movies, feature films account for half or less of what Netflix subscribers actually watch, as Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during a joint keynote with Miramax CEO Mike Lang at the Mipcom conference.

This new licensing deal with CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. Television Group makes previous seasons of The CW’s scripted series available for streaming through the 2014-15 season for four years after each series, current or future, ends its broadcast run on the network.

It’s also a deal that suits both sides. Analysts believe the license is worth about $1 billion, which The CW sorely needs and which brings its content into the on-demand world of its mostly young adult audience. Netflix customers expect it to have a huge library, and the company can’t really risk disappointing them.

Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive officer, CBS Corp., said the agreement showed the value of original content. “It is a model that opens a new door for The CW programming to expand its audience reach through the terrific Netflix service, and creates a brand-new window for CBS and Warner Bros. to be paid for the content we supply the network,” he said in a statement. “It also further illustrates how new distribution systems are providing premium content suppliers with additive revenue streams while still preserving traditional monetization windows.”

Programming available to Netflix members will include the eight dramas on The CW’s Fall 2011 schedule, including: new series Ringer, Hart of Dixie and The Secret Circle; returning hits The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, 90210, Supernatural and Nikita; and mid-season series One Tree Hill.

“This agreement is a clear example of why content creators and providers can and will grow stronger through technology partnerships tailored to the consumer,” said Bruce Rosenblum, president, Warner Bros. Television Group and office of the president.  “It extends our traditional syndication windows with a strong, additive revenue play perfect for serialized dramas, and portends even greater growth opportunities for our studio as we continue to explore and define the marketplace.”

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  1. This article is supposed to sound great, however, this is a huge reason why I have left Netflix for Blockbuster. I’ll explain why, there is hardly any relative content and some of the good shows they had are being replaced by mostly teen female shows. Working for DISH Network I know that I now have nearly an endless amount of content available to me via streaming or rentals by mail.