Netflix to screen "The Wizard of Oz" online October 3, 2009… FREE!

The world’s largest online movie rental service will be treating online viewers to a free, commercially uninterrupted online screening of the newly restored 1939 classic to celebrate its 70th anniversary for 24 hours, from 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 3 to 9:00 a.m. ET the following day, by visiting www.netflix.com/wizardofoz.

While anyone in America can instantly watch “The Wizard of Oz” online on a computer on October 3, Netflix members on an unlimited plan will be able to instantly watch “The Wizard of Oz” in hi-definition on their TVs via a range of Netflix ready devices, including the Netflix ready Blu-ray disc player, Internet Tvs, Blu-ray disc players, digital video players, the Xbox 360, and TiVo digital video recorders.

The instant streaming of “The Wizard of Oz” over the Internet on October 3 is being powered by Microsoft Silverlight (TM), a web browser plug-in that works with Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Silverlight installs in less than 10 seconds for new users, without requiring a system restart. When viewers click the “Play” button, “The Wizard of Oz” will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. Viewers will also have the option of fast-forwarding, rewinding and pausing the video stream.

“Making a movie of this stature available for free over the Internet on an uninterrupted basis is a first,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “At the same time, it’s a great opportunity for people to get a taste of what instantly watching movies streamed from Netflix is all about. We’re thrilled to be able to do this on both scores.”

Warner Bros. Entertainment has for the past year been celebrating the 70th anniversary of this iconic film with a slate of spectacular festivities spanning the globe. Additional information on all of the Netflix “The Wizard of Oz” events can be found at www.netflix.com/wizardofoz. This same restoration of the film will be issued on Blu-Ray (marking the title’s debut on that format) later this month

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