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Seth

I think this is a bad move. Even if this gets huge ratings (whatever that means online) I'm not sure how it helps Netflix.

- Will it increase subscribers? Most probably... no.

- Will it improve customer satisfaction? Probably not in any significant or measurable way.

- Will it have good PR value? I don't know. The media will love talking it up but will it burnish the brand's attraction to customers? As I wrote above, probably not.

- Will Reed Hastings get to hang out with Kevin Spacey and David Fincher? Yes. Woo hoo!

Overall this looks like a bad deal for stock holders. Anyone remember when Amazon had its own TV show Fishbowl with Bill Maher? I called it "Jeff Bezos is Bored." I think Reed Hastings is bored.

wozza

I think it's something they have to try. Who knows if it'll work or not.

Ashley

I love Netflix ... but I have zero interest in original programming from Netflix.

kk

Its a move worth trying esp if HBO so adamant about not giving netflix access to its original programming

ZerOhawk

This has the potential to be a GAME CHANGER for Netflix! For a company that is unafraid to take chances and innovate their business model this really shouldn't be all that surprising. Also, long term this definitely positions them very well should they end up producing just one or two quality shows like AMC has done over the last few years with Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Also should the Comcast and the Studio dinosaurs continue to try to find ways to stall the evolution of easy and cheap streaming for 21st century consumers this definitely has the potential to give NETFLIX the ability to keep and expand their customers at $8 a month.

TZ

it could get expensive trying to BUY content away from HBO.

I wonder if this is just a bluff to try and get HBO to give them at least something to stream.

Seth

I think TZ is on target as I can't figure out what Netflix's endgame could possibly be. Let's say Reed Hastings makes a deal with the devil and buys three smash hit shows. Then what? The content providers they acquire from would be apoplectic.

If I was HBO and so on I'd be happy to let Netflix outbid me. I don't think it's a game Netflix can win. The ability to build a channel of top programming took HBO many years. There just aren't too many people in the industry that have any kind of track record in predicting what will catch on and what will fail.

FearNo1

This is big news. NF is going after HBO directly. They are already going against basic cable with the syndicated reruns. This could make HBO, AMC, and showtime license their original programing to NF. The last thing they want is more competition.

foreskinned is forewarned

where's all the posts about how the world will end if someone has exclusive deals on content?

jolly

This is another bullshit rumor started by Goldman Sacks who backs the tv series. They are doing a PR move to get infront of the stock split..

PS3 fanboi

This would absolutely be worth it for Netflix, provided the series is good. For instance, the only reason I watch Starz is for Spartacus series. If Netflix had an exclusive TV series of that calibre, or better, they'd gain quite more subscribers.

ZerOhawk

Bottom line: one or two decent or good original shows is added value to what NETFLIX offers it's customers. I mean, look at how well AMC has played this game. Previous to original programming it was a second rate movie channel that in no way differentiated itself. Same thig with Stars. Once they created a few shows that were good they essentially made their networks more valuable and better for those watching those channels. With 20 million subscribers already without original programming imagine how much more valuable and better situated NETFLIX would be by adding even a few shows, especially one rumored to be linked with David Fincher. Even if they don't do it I suspect the thought is enough to make Hulu, HBO, Amazon and Redbox shake their head in frustration and disbelief.

Crow550

I really could care less if they offer there own programming. Well see....

As long as it doesn't affect my Monthly price or slow them down even more on Blu-Rays and more streaming titles....

Well see....

I don't see the big point in Netflix Original Programming?

Netflix is a rental service not a cable/satellite service.... I don't want ads or another price increase....

Well see what happens....

K

It's interesting, but you know what I'd like even better, and what I think might work with their tech-savvy user base?

Saving the Brilliant-But-Cancelled (or about to be cancelled) shows.

Think about it: they get a built in audience, and it's the perfect sort of investment for word-of-mouth shows that get an audience after they're already in production. You could catch up on streaming, right up through the current season!

Firefly, Stargate: Universe, Drive, Dollhouse ... heck, maybe Netflix should just make a deal with Joss Whedon and call it done. :)

bigqueue

>- Will it increase subscribers? Most probably... no.

I have no proof the other way, but anecdotally, heard of people subscribing to HBO before The Sopranos premiered for the season and cancelling after the end of the season (until the next season).

If Netflix ends up making good original shows, I think they can get to be "the place to be".

Racket

If Netflix has ALL the rights to the show, then they could sell the broadcast rights to Starz or better yet, HBO(irony) and retain the streaming rights. Its a reverse of what they have been trying to do, buy just the streaming rights from the people who own the broadcast rights. I like it, its daring and unexpected.

I don't need to see episodic TV each week. As far as I am concerned they can just wait and post it ALL when its in the can, then I will stream it episode after episode on my time. I watched Spartacus each week, but I would have been just as happy to wait until the final episode had aired and then have streaming access to the entire season at once. This fits more in the Netflix supposed completeness model.

Mike

$100 million for one show?!
Hey Netflix how about spending that money on more TV shows and longer streaming rights(read: more than three months).

RJM

Netflix plus anyone ?

Sounds like they might would want to pass the cost on to customers.

Seth

"I have no proof the other way, but anecdotally, heard of people subscribing to HBO before The Sopranos premiered for the season and cancelling after the end of the season (until the next season)."

It took many years for HBO to develop the relationships and staffing to find and nurture such programming.

Netflix doesn't know what it's doing in this regard and if they think they do they are insane. In Hollywood they say "Nobody Knows Nothing" and it's true. It takes many talented and insightful people to have any modicum of success and even then the best companies have many many failures.

This deal by Netflix is completely bozo bonkers. If they had announced that they were hiring some hotshot from HBO or AMC to develop a new programming arm then that would have been some serious gauntlet throwing by Netflix.

But IMHO this is a joke. Maybe Netflix thinks great shows spring like Athena out of Zeus' head but even the greatest show runners have their visions guided and shaped by programmers. That's why HBO is such a success. They pursue great show runners but they also have great programmers guiding them.

Well I have been more than verbose on my thoughts so I'll bid adieu on this discussion.

Wonderbird

I would like to see NetFlix pick up / continue shows like 27 miles, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Journeyman, Early Edition, Dark Angel, Family Guy, etc....

True Religion Outlet

We use friendship writing a book, a thick book.

rjejr

Going to agree with Racket. I don't see how this could be a bad thing. $100 million sounds like a lot of money - and I'm sure it is - but Kevin Spacey is almost as everywhere as Kevin Bacon. Awards shows, talks shows, entertainment shows - "So what are you working on now Mr. Spacey? - Oh, I'm doing the first ever original programming for Netflix." I think it's worth $100 mil just to have Kevin Spacey as your spokesperson.

ts

Interesting. I posted here a few times how I believed NF would eventually try some original programming. I did not think it would come this soon however. If they can pull of a series or two that are engaging then it should work. As has been pointed out there are several factors that will determine success or failure, but I think they should absolutely go for it. It is obvious they made the decision a few years ago to be more than just a disc by mail service. NF isn't interested in remaining the same. They are about evolving and moving the industry into the 21st century and this is a step in that direction. I admire the efforts of companies like NF, Apple, MS etc. that test the boundries of technology and push beyond them. They keep the wheels moving forward.

Pepe Fenjul Jr.

I hear Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes.

scJohn

That $100 million spread out over 26 episodes comes to about 3.8 million per episode. Now a 1 hour scripted show for broadcast TV is suppose to run around $3 million per episode. Cable scripted shows (1 hour), on average cost about $2 million per episode. The one thing we do not know is if the $100 million includes the international rights of just the US rights. If just the US rights then NF overpaid. If this includes the international rights then NF can recoup some of that money with international licensing.

frank22

forwarned, I am a little uneasy about it, but the world will be fine. I think Netflix kind of has to do this, it is a shot across the bow to the producers, including HBO. Maybe they could make a agreement that one will stay out of each others business and they will work together. I realize HBO is both a producer and channel so it makes it a little more complicated for them.

What I am a little uneasy about it if HULU does this, and others, I don't want to have to sign up for every streaming service just to watch a great show. Pretty soon I am in cable cost terrorist. Right now I sit back and just get everything from Netflix including shows from HBO and showtime as DVD rental or streaming. It could end up Netflix won't have these in the future.

Lynne

Pro is if Science Fiction Shows like (Flashforward, V, and The Event) and Movies have a better chance on running on Netflix and succeeding instead of being axed after 6 to 12 months time. I would like it then they being dropped by regular TV Networks.

Con I wouldn't like it if the Cable (Internet) companies feel more threaten and cap our usage on the Internet even further to try to nip the Cable Cord Cutting.

Compromise would be to let Cable (Internet) companies carry on Netflix streaming too for their clients Subscribers example Comcast, AT&T Universe, Verizon etc. -- so they feel less threaten by Netflix.

Lynne

Well if the new version of "House of Cards" is a done deal and Netflix has exclusive streaming rights -- I saw the original on PBS and recently rewatched it on Netflix. It is a great show -- I liked Ian Richardson in it as FU.

Kevin Spacey is a fine actor and should bring a lot of fans... I'll watch it again in this new version -- it should follow with "To Play The King, and The Final Cut -- unless that is all part of the 26 episodes.

I am not worry about other streaming only sites doing it too -- because when it comes into DVD an original program -- Netflix will have it too. I believe the exclusive right is for streaming only not that it won't eventually be made into an DVD for distribution to others for viewing.

Peachesv

If Netflix is attempting to expand their $8 customers, they are alienating their $42 customers (like me) when they decide to decrease the number of dvd's available and go towards more streaming. It's nice to see them trying something new, but they're already losing my interest.

Steve A

@Peachesv, unfortunately, this is a business. If a streaming customer is more profitable, then that's the audience that they need to target. They have to provide shareholders with the greatest return on investment.

CJ

Sounds to me like the business strategy here is for Netflix to send the message:

"If you series content owners don't play along with me, and license your recent content to me at a reasonable rate, then I'll just do my own original series, and with my 20 million subscriber base, I'll eventually bury you!"

Hates to be, but Netflix is rapidly becoming the "Big Gorilla" in the room...

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