Big news for serialized TV lovers. Warner Bros. Television Group has signed a deal that allows Netflix subscribers access to complete past seasons of serialized dramas including Revolution, Political Animals, 666 Park Avenue, Longmire — and upcoming Fox seriable The Following.
Netflix has also scored Chuck, The West Wing and Fringe, which concludes its 5-chapter saga later this month.
Another interesting aspect to this deal is that along with these eight seriables, Warner Bros may also make “potential future shows” available to Netflix.
So what does this mean for the serialized TV consumer?
As we’ve touched on previously, Netflix is well positioned to deliver greater accessibility for serialized fare, which due to its ongoing and usually complex nature often performs better on streaming/video on demand than traditional TV. Placing greater choice and convenience in the hands of viewers is an approach that rubs against the ad-supported TV model but one from which Netflix (and viewers and creators of this material) could benefit.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos seems to agree, calling it an “unprecedented agreement”, one that:
“Is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love.”
Warner Bros Television Group, who have shown a desire to produce serialized drama, also see the value in adjusting the means by which viewers can get hold of their favorite seriables. President Bruce Rosenblum says:
“[The agreement recognizes that subscription VOD] has become an important window for our serialized dramas, [particularly for viewers who want to catch up with a series]. We continue to adapt our business models to include SVOD when it makes sense for the long-term value of each show and are thrilled to have Netflix as one of our distribution partners.”
This is encouraging news. We look forward to the serialized TV audience (at least those with Netflix, for now) reaping the benefits of increased serial accessibility. For every action there is a reaction, let’s see if this stirs other studios,networks and digital companies into action. We’ll keep you in the loop.