LOS GATOS, Calif. – Netflix Inc.’s Internet video streaming service will be the only place to watch an upcoming TV series with a high-powered pedigree that includes Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and the director of an Oscar-nominated film about Facebook.

The deal announced Friday illustrates Netflix’s growing clout in Hollywood as its mines revenue from its 20 million subscribers to create new home entertainment options.

In this instance, Netflix will be showing a series that won’t have a scheduled broadcast time. Episodes could be released in bunches instead of just one per week.

“It’s a show people will be able to discover over time,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a Friday interview. “It doesn’t have to happen over the first week, first month or even the first year of the show.”

Netflix didn’t disclose how much it is paying Media Rights Capital, the studio behind “House of Cards.” The agreement covers 26 hour-long episodes, an usually large commitment for a series that hasn’t even entered production.

The series will debut on Netflix late next year.

The high-profile names connected to “House of Cards” made it a hot commodity.

Besides featuring Spacey in his first regular role in a TV series, the pilot will be directed by David Fincher, nominated for a best-director Oscar for “The Social Network,” a movie based on the legal battle pitting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg against former friends and classmates at Harvard University.

“House of Cards” is based on a novel about British politics during the 20-year regime of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

This will mark the first time that Netflix owns the exclusive rights to an episodic series, an advantage that has worked well for pay-TV channels such as Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and CBS Inc.’s Showtime. HBO, with an estimated 28 million U.S. subscribers, has steadfastly refused to license critically acclaimed series such as “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” to Netflix’s streaming service because of their intensifying rivalry.

In landing the rights to “House of Cards,” Netflix demonstrated it has the financial muscle to outbid the more-established pay-TV channels.

“It was probably the most sought after premium series on the market now,” Sarandos boasted.