Netflix Looks To Nab Streaming Rights Rights For ‘House Of Cards’
The DVD-Rental And Content-Streaming Giant May Begin To Offer Original Content
Netflix, the largest provider of DVD rentals and live-streaming movies and TV shows in the United States, is reportedly vying to purchase the streaming rights to an original television series called “House of Cards.” According to Deadline.com, the cable networks HBO and AMC have also placed bids for the show, but Netflix is muscling out the competition with its deep pockets, reportedly offering $100 million for exclusive rights to stream the 26-episode drama series starring Kevin Spacey and directed by The Social Network’s David Fincher. Such a deal would be a first for Netflix; the company has never been involved in first-run content, but instead has provided its millions of subscribers with on-demand access to digital video transfers titles already available on DVD and Blu-ray.
This move would put Netflix in direct competition with cable television. It is no surprise that Netflix is pursing such an ambitious deal right now, as several of the company’s content providers are reportedly threatening to pull out of streaming deals because online streaming generates less revenue than disc sales and cable television syndication. Netflix appears to be following in the footsteps of premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime, which got their start airing only full-length movies produced by other studios. The first of these was HBO, which got its start in the late 1970s when the idea of “premium” TV content was new. Eventually, as competition in the pay-TV sector heated up, HBO made the move into original programming in order to make a name for itself as a provider of unique content. Obviously, that plan has worked, and other premium networks such as Showtime and Starz have also produced (or at least acquired exclusive rights for) their own content.
Netflix now finds itself in a similar position to the one HBO faced decades ago. Once the only game in town, Netflix now faces serious competition from other streaming services such as Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, which offer variations on Netflix’s theme of digital video transfer streaming. According to Netflix, which only began streaming content to non-PC devices in 2008, streaming now makes up the majority of the company’s once-DVD-dominated service. Most of the 20,000 titles in Netflix’s streaming library are older movies and TV shows, and the fight for fresh content will certainly have an affect on the future of Netflix and its competition. Will Netflix be the next HBO? With 20 million subscribers and counting, it seems possible.