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Summary:

A new deal means Netflix will be able to replenish its content library with past seasons from eight shows, including the West Wing. Meanwhile, many other content goodies will stay out of its reach.

Revolution
photo: Warner Bros

Netflix users will soon be able to binge on a new basket of shows thanks to a partnership deal in which Time Warner will give the streaming service a new infusion of badly needed content.

The deal, announced Monday, will give Netflix the right to distribute the West Wing but also the post-apocalyptic drama “Revolution” which has been the most popular new series for the 2012-2013 TV season. Netflix also gets previous seasons of: Chuck; Political Animals; Fringe; Longmire; 666 Park Avenue.

The deal is good news — sort of — for Netflix at a time when it is struggling to replenish its video offerings after many of its initial content deals have expired. The Warner Bros deal makes Netflix “the exclusive online home” for those shows from the 2012-2013 season but this language appears to allow the studio to distribute the shows on other platforms like cable or broadcast.

Meanwhile, Time Warner (Warner Bros parent company) continues to pursue strategies that keep other goodies from Netflix. This week, for instance, it locked up a deal for HBO to have exclusive distribution rights to content from Universal Studios such as “Ted” or “Bourne Legacy.” The deal gives HBO, which Time Warner owns, more popular third party content in addition to its original series like”Game of Thrones.”

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  1. What makes you think this content is badly needed? Viewing and subscriber levels are at record levels. There is no evidence they are struggling to replenish content, by any measure they have more content and more viewing than ever before. Also why is this deal only “sort of” good news?

    The hbo universal deal extends a current deal so it doesn’t represent a new infusion of content for hbo.

    This article has a strange any Netflix bias that leaves the reader with an inaccurate impression of the current state of play.

    1. Jeff John Roberts Brad Monday, January 7, 2013

      Thanks for the comment, Brad. Yes, my tone may sound somewhat skeptical but this is not a result of an anti-Netflix bias. Rather, it reflects the tough strategic position in which Netflix finds itself.

      Namely, it is easier and less expensive for studios and other content owners to add distribution capacity than it is for Netflix to create content. I’ve also heard numerous complaints from friends and family about the relative paucity of quality content on Netflix (and quit the service myself for this reason).

      Overall, I admire what Netflix has done to transform how we watch TV. But it’s in a hard spot right now — and I don’t think this deal does much to change that.

      1. Still awaiting word that Fringe is up and available on NetFlix. I’m one of those disappointed by SciHD Channel dropping out of their reprise of the series. I didn’t discover Fringe till it hit SchiHD.

        Waiting on 2-part mid-season 3 finale + following 2nd half of season 3. I’ll use them to see if I really need NetFlix. Haven’t yet seen the need. This could convince me.

  2. Ender Wiggin Ksc Monday, January 7, 2013

    We already had a full run of chuck. The rest is good news, but i think the turning point was really in reaching an agreement with the Mouse.

    Netflix is great….for what it is allowed to be. If you’ve got kids, Netflix is the single killer ap.

    if you’re older and looking to rewatch all those old shows you loved, netflix is the killer ap.

    If you like “paging through channels” netflix scratches that itch too.

    Now.. on the other hand if you consume a crap ton of media, and/or don’t really care about old series….then eventually netflix isn’t going to cut it. (you can always invest in a proxy at this point and supplement all your new shows via torrent though, not that i’d ever advocate getting yourself a btguard account for 7 bucks a month and hoisting the black flag).

    I suppose Hulu is an option, but thanks to it’s owner it’s a broken piece of crap, and i try not to give those b@@@@@ any money if i can help it.

    On the whole though, i’m reasonably happy at 8 bucks a month, just to be able to page through and find some occasional background noise. (family guy, futurama, how i met your mother, etc.). happy enough that every tv in the house has a roku box, between netflix and plex we’ve never not been able to find whatever content we want. Except live sports, but no one here cares.

  3. I enjoy many of the programing that Netflix has and look forward to whatever they get new and old.

  4. I love Netflix streaming for shows, for sure. I just wish they’d get a broader movie list for streaming.

  5. It looks like WB is trying to jump-start ratings for “Revolution”, the same way “Breaking Bad” got a boost from netflix viewings. The other titles, just look like WB looked at their balance sheet and saw which titles have tapered off on DVD sales.

    Sure, Netflix gets a bad rap for their lack of streaming content, but most customers stick with it because of the price. It’s part of the “cord cutting” equation. Pay $45+ a month for a middle-tier cable package to watch 3 hours a night, or pay netflix $8 a month and have less selection, but still have something to watch?

  6. Guile Williams Monday, January 14, 2013

    They’re trying all they can to preserve cable television even though it is becoming an outdated form of entertainment. More people are disconnecting their cable service in favor of companies like Netflix. The problem is, in the end, the customer is always right.

  7. Considering the fact that 666 Park Avenue is getting cancelled before it can finish its first season, I don’t see this as a win for Netflix.

  8. Jeff Kesselman Saturday, March 16, 2013

    Netflix badly needs the last seasons of a number of shows, such as Fringe. Its very frustrating to not be able to see the end of a series.

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