The Walking Dead staggers onto Lovefilm Instant in exclusive deal

Netflix fans moan and groan in disappointment

The Walking Dead staggers onto Lovefilm Instant in exclusive streaming deal

Lovefilm has scored another big exclusive in its battle with Netflix by signing exclusive rights to stream the hit zombie show The Walking Dead.

The first season of the cult favourite is available to stream from Thursday for Lovefilm customers, with the next two seasons of the AMC-produced to roll out over the next 18 months.

It's likely that the company will gradually release the remainder of the show over the coming months, while season four will follow at some point after it airs on the Fox channel in the UK later this year.

The deal is a blow to Netflix, which, ironically, has the rights to stream the show in the United States.

Biting chunks out of each other

The two streaming giants have been trading blows over the last few weeks as they each mount up a number of exclusives, making it more difficult for consumers to subscribe to just one option.

Earlier this week Lovefilm customers got access to the Disney Movies on Demand platform at no extra cost, bringing classic movies like Dumbo and modern favourites like Wall-E into the mix.

Netflix, on the other hand, has agreed an exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation studios in order to bring 300 hours of new and original content to its platform.

Of the The Walking Dead coup Lovefilm's director of film strategy Chris Bird said: "It is seriously impressive that the show has become one of the most-watched drama series in basic US cable history, and a real testament to its quality. We are thrilled to bring this great content to our members, especially as we are the only subscription service in the country to do so."