With Amazon and Hulu nipping at his heels, acquisition and distribution pro Sarandos, who’s been at Netflix since 2000, took a giant leap last week with the announcement of a streaming deal with the Walt Disney Co. that gave the digital distributor exclusive access to new and catalogue titles from the Mouse House during the pay TV window in the U.S. Deal, said to be worth up to $300 million annually to Disney, will be fully in effect in 2016. Sarandos also spearheaded the deep-pocketed Netflix’s drive for original programming with initiatives such as the reported $100 million deal for two seasons of David Fincher’s “House of Cards.” Four other originals, including the revamped “Arrested Development” and “Hemlock Grove” are set to stream in 2013. “It’s an evolution around exclusivity and original, with the most extreme edge of exclusivity being original,” Sarandos told Variety. “Our ability to revive (“Arrested”) is a testimony to the evolution of on-demand culture.” He’s also expanded domestic and international deals for programming with the Weinstein Co., including a shared window with Showtime for theatricals. By winning a major pay TV deal with Warner Bros. Television in Scandinavia, he amplified Netflix’s presence there, adding to the company’s global portfolio.
Outside the office: Hosted first lady Michelle Obama for a campaign fundraiser at his home, raising nearly $1 million.
Top cause: The American Cinematheque; on board of Tony Bennett’s nonprofit Exploring the Arts, supporting arts in public education