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-   -   Netflix bidding against Canadian broadcasters for new U.S. programs (https://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/29-whats-television/262017-netflix-bidding-against-canadian-broadcasters-new-u-s-programs.html)

hercules130 2016-06-01 02:24 PM

Netflix bidding against Canadian broadcasters for new U.S. programs
 
A bit out of topic.

Here, it is said that CTV went into a bidding war with Netflix for Designated Survivor. I take it it means Netflix Canada for Canadian distribution only. However, how does it work for Netflix, exactly? Designated Survivor will be aired on ABC. As Netflix is distributed over the internet it can not simultaneously substitute. Therefore, Canadians who want to catch the show but are not keen to subscribing can just easily tune into their local ABC affiliates.

Titanium48 2016-06-01 03:36 PM

I don't get why Netflix would be bidding against OTA channels over first run rights either. Maybe they wanted to make a deal for past season rights and were refused, so they decided to make it painful for Bell Media.

ExDilbert 2016-06-01 03:48 PM

It wouldn't be the first time that Netflix has obtained first run rights for programming. With the recent crackdown on proxy server use (discussed here), Netflix needs something to retain Canadian customers. Unfortunately, Bell has very deep pockets.

Titanium48 2016-06-02 09:48 AM

I don't see how bidding against the Canadian OTA networks for first run programming could be a cost-effective way to retain customers. Like Hercules130 pointed out, if Netflix were to win the bid they would not be the only source of the program in Canada, as the 50% or so of Canadians with access to US OTA could get it that way, and it would also be available to anyone with any sort of cable package. Even the most popular shows have a limited audience, and the appeal of Netflix is the large catalog with something for every taste. Better to use that program acquisition money to buy a collection of cheaper shows from around the world that the Canadian OTA networks passed over and/or to expand their catalog of past seasons and movies to reduce the disparity between the Canadian and US services.

ExDilbert 2016-06-02 10:01 AM

I agree that acquiring a show aired simultaneously on ABC is not a good move for Netflix. I would watch it on Netflix over ABC (due to the lack of advertising on Netflix) but it would not be a reason for subscribing to Netflix. Netflix would be better off bidding on shows that are on US specialty channels and not also available on US OTA networks. Popular shows currently on channels like Space, Showcase, Bravo or Superchannel would be good targets.

bigoranget 2016-06-02 11:03 AM

I think many people are underestimating the value of these programs on Netflix. Many Canadian Netflix customers will likely choose to watch the programs on Netflix simply because they can watch when they want and not have to deal with ads. It's a big selling point. It's an investment for the future. They more people they can move over to Netflix with acquisitions, the better. It's too bad Canadian broadcasters aren't forward thinking like this.

Linear television whether delivered by Cable, Satellite or OTA is in decline while instant streaming has been on the rise for years.

audacity 2016-06-02 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Titanium48
Netflix were to win the bid they would not be the only source of the program in Canada, as the 50% or so of Canadians with access to US OTA could get it that way

I've seen it quoted many times now that very few people actually have a OTA antenna setup these days.

Frankly, the user experience is so much better for services like Netflix than it is for broadcast TV, I suspect that Netflix out-bidding OTA broadcasters for some content will have people rushing to buy antennas to get the US signal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Titanium48
Unfortunately, Bell has very deep pockets.

Netflix is a pretty big company now. Bigger than Bell. And that's even considering that Bell does lots of things (like mobility), whereas Netflix does one thing.

ExDilbert 2016-06-02 12:32 PM

The difference is that Netflix must compete on price where Bell can simply keep bumping up the prices of their services annually (mainly because other Canadian companies do the same.) ISPs are incredibly lucrative these days due to falling costs, annual price increases and gouging of customers on data prices to combat online streaming. Bell (and Rogers, etc) can leverage ISP profits and their control of internet services to bury Netflix. The only thing that is stopping them is public (and CRTC) opinion. In addition, the studios are pressuring Netflix to protect their lucrative licensing deals with Canadian broadcasters. (Anyone who thinks that Bell had nothing to do with the studios making Netflix block proxies is living in a bubble.) Any way it's viewed, Netflix draws the short end of the stick in Canada.

Snowflake6 2016-06-02 12:34 PM

The only thing stopping me from dropping cable entirely is that I do want to get local news. That's really not the most convenient thing to do when you've just got an internet connection. Yes, some of the local stations have video available, but not many are live, you have to wait until after it's aired to view it. I don't mind that for TV shows, I watch GoT a day late for example, but for news i'd like it at regular times.

I had an OTA antenna in Langley, BC and picked up 8-10 channels, which was great for News and general watching. Haven't picked up an antenna here in Sidney, BC yet but will once we move into the new house. Still trying to decide whether I want to bother with a cable connection or not.

Titanium48 2016-06-02 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ExDilbert
Netflix would be better off bidding on shows that are on US specialty channels and not also available on US OTA networks. Popular shows currently on channels like Space, Showcase, Bravo or Superchannel would be good targets.

I agree. Watching a show on Netflix instead of PVRing it off of CTV provides little additional value to me, but having access to shows I would otherwise need an expensive cable subscription to get does.

audacity 2016-06-02 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Titanium48
Watching a show on Netflix instead of PVRing it off of CTV provides little additional value to me,

This is where you're unusual. Practically everyone I know who uses Netflix appreciates that you can start at Season 1 Episode 1 of any given series that piques their interest, and start walking through the content at their own pace (which may be fast or slow). Broadcast TV gives you whatever episode that happens to be running that week.

Most people don't keep up on most shows, and their interest in a show doesn't necessarily begin when the show's season begins.

Add to that the lack of commercials on Netflix, great device support, a solid consistent user interface, and we've got a recipe for a much better user experience. And that adds quite a lot of value.

Titanium48 2016-06-02 01:12 PM

Past seasons are a different matter, and are another place where Netflix provides value. This is why I suspect bidding against Bell is a pressure tactic to try to get them to sell the rights to past seasons.

Viper550 2016-06-02 01:36 PM

Yeah, I agree with these arguments.

My family discovered The 100 (which I'm quite shocked that Showcase or Space didn't pick up, because it gets surprisingly good later on) via Netflix, and we determined that it was a better value to just keep a Netflix subscription going rather than buy a superstation package to watch it "live". Would you agree that ad-free, video-on-demand movies and TV series are a better value than America's fifth-largest TV network and Chicago Cubs/White Sox baseball?

In some cases, having digital rights to a program can be more valuable than rights to air it linear and in simulcast. As an example, look at Empire. In the U.S., it's a ratings juggernaut, and Shomi said that it was one of their most popular shows. When it aired on City, it flopped. Due to its extremely specific focus on U.S. hip-hop music, from an international standpoint, Empire is essentially a "niche" program that more than likely would have been picked up by a cable channel (If MuchMusic still cared about music-related programs, it would have fit them like a glove) if SVOD wasn't as ubiquitous. But now there's options.

I think that this type of environment may actually encourage the production of more Canadian content. With more U.S. programs being picked up in Canada exclusively for SVOD rather than simsubs, there's more room on the schedule for original programming. Then, you can sell them to or co-produce them with a SVOD service (see Between, which is a co-production of City and Netflix, and Discovery Channel's Frontier) or another broadcaster (see Orphan Black, Space and BBC America) for international distribution.

Blackloz 2016-06-02 01:37 PM

This is good news as the more US network shows Netflix gets the less Simsubs for the affected people.

Titanium48 2016-06-02 02:27 PM

I had the opposite reaction to The 100. Liked it at the beginning, then like a lot of sci-fi their bending of the laws of nature went beyond my ability to suspend disbelief and I quit watching.

I think the linear broadcast model works better for current seasons of the more popular episodic series where large ad revenues can support high licensing fees. Streaming services that try to compete will blow a lot of money that could be used to acquire older or niche programs that may be less popular individually but more popular in aggregate.


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