Thursday, October 13, 2011

Netflix Does Something Smart. Finally.

After months of pissing off their customers with a significant rate increase and with a reorganization of the company that only seemed to remind everyone of why the facepalm was created, the folks at Netflix have finally managed to do something smart.

I will give my esteemed readers a moment to recover from this shock.

Anyway, Netflix and the CW Network announced today that Netflix will be the only online destination where viewers can instantly watch complete prior season of The CW's current scripted series as well as future shows.


As part of this four-year output deal, Netflix has licensed the rights to stream more than 700 hours of previous-season episodes of The CW's young-skewing dramas as well as future programs. These rights extend for four years after each series, current or future, ends its broadcast run on the network. The CW content can also be made available via traditional syndication windows, electronic sell-through services and, on a partial-season basis, through authenticated cable providers.

Programming available to Netflix members will include the eight dramas on The CW's Fall 2011 schedule, including new series Ringer, Hart of Dixie, and The Secret Circle; returning hits like The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, 90210, Supernatural, Nikita as well as the mid-season series, One Tree Hill.

Previous seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Nikita will be available to watch instantly on October 15, with previous seasons of Supernatural and 90210 beginning in January 2012. Episodes of all scripted series airing on The CW this broadcast season will premiere for Netflix members in the fall of 2012. In addition, all episodes of future scripted series appearing on The CW through the 2014-15 season will be available to stream from Netflix through a commensurate window.

Thank you for restoring my confidence in your company, Netflix. I was beginning to think that it was time to short your stock.

Of course, the huge, unanswered question in this announcement is: will we see deals like this between Netflix and other networks? Only time will tell for certain, but there is a lot of content out there that isn't readily available on-line.

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