Skip to main content

Will Netflix lose droves of BBC shows? Don’t be so sure

netflix bbc shows contract expire negotiation dr who luther
Netflix subscribers love their BBC. That’s why the current buzz about the possible loss of scores of BBC shows from the site due to expiring contracts between the two entities has the Internet in a veritable cockney frenzy. Whether it’s the colorful sci-fi antics of the indelible Doctor Who, gritty crime series like Idris Elba’s Luther, or stellar classics from the U.K.’s comedy past like Black Adder, the possible parting of ways could be a big blow to Netflix.

But slow down everyone; take a nice, deep breath and have a cup of tea. While it may be true that current contracts are in jeopardy, all is not lost. Not while the bandwidth in Netflix’s veins still flows, anyway. A new rumor from a popular Netflix update site, The Best of Netflix, claims that the ever-growing shadows on the agreements between Netflix and the BBC, set to expire by the end of January, may simply be a bargaining strategy.

Related: Amazon’s Transparent scores big at the Golden Globes

Citing “a source close to Netflix,” The Best of Netflix reporter Rob Toledo reports that Netflix is currently in talks with the BBC in hopes of renewing contracts before time runs out. The report goes even further, claiming the two sides are working on a full “BBC package” renewal that will secure marquee shows, as well as lesser known programming, all in one fell swoop.

Though we have little to substantiate these claims, it certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise. Content providers and cable and satellite services go through these sorts of negotiations all the time. In fact, one of the most recent such breakdowns between Dish Network and Turner Broadcasting not only resulted in a renewal of content for Dish’s satellite service, but it just may have aided in the acquisition of content for Dish’s new standalone Web TV service, Sling TV, which carries a handful of Turner networks. (Details of negotiations between the two companies were not disclosed.)

The source in the Netflix report also claims that Netflix takes into account the popularity of the shows at stake during contract renewals, as well as “votes,” meaning statistics garnered from those who call in or write emails to complain about lost content.

So, before you begin lamenting your last vicarious TARDIS ride, or the take-down of yet another twisted serial killer roaming the streets of London, just give it a little time — or better yet, dial up your local Netflix call center and let your voice be heard.

Editors' Recommendations