CBS confirmed yesterday with Dow Jones that it will pull some of it’s premium ShowTime content from Netflix when the current partnership between ShowTime and Netflix expires this summer. Showtime spokeswoman Johanna Fuentes confirmed that all episodes of shows currently airing on ShowTime like “Dexter” and “Californification” will be removed.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise to Netflix… “We’re perplexed by this,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesperson told Dow Jones. “We have great Showtime shows available on our service, and we expect to continue with those shows. We have a very good relationship with CBS and all its channels.” Something tells me that the “very good relationship with CBS and all its channels” isn’t as good as Netflix believes it to be. At the end of the day, however, this could be, and, probably is, a negotiation tactic by CBS.
Content producers need Netflix and services like it
Content producers would love it if consumers would just come to their websites and buy their premium streaming content direct. The problem for content producers, however, is that there are a lot of them out there and consumers aren’t going to go to every website and pay direct unless they are truly a fan of a show. Netflix, on the other hand, works as the middle man. They bring a critical mass of users willing to pay a monthly fee to get all you can eat from multiple content producers, but, probably wouldn’t buy direct from a particular content producer for a show that they are just casually interested in.
Personally, I like the show “Dexter” and watch it via Netflix all the time. If Netflix, however, no longer offers Dexter, its not like I would go buy it directly from Showtime. CBS knows this, which, is why I believe that what you see happening here is the beginning of negotiations for their next contract with Netflix…