Several Titles Leaving Netflix As Contracts End

by Baysia Herron, Staff Writer

Many Netflix titles are leaving the service in the next few months as networks terminate their contracts. Some networks decided to move their shows to other streaming services, such as Hulu, or streaming from their own website or app. To replace the missing shows, Netflix plans to devote their resources to more original content.

Earlier this year, Scripps Network Interactive, which is home to HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, the Cooking Channel and the Travel Channel, removed all of its shows from Netflix after their contract ended. They decided that they no longer wanted to be dependent on Netflix and are now relying on their own streaming service they believe will bring in more revenue.

Similarly, Epix ended their contract with Netflix a few years ago, moving titles such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” to Hulu. Netflix did not pursue the network as they believed it would allow more room for Netflix’s own original content.

Some shows were not given a choice when their contract ended. 20th Century Fox’s “How I Met Your Mother” was not licensed as the previous contract ended due to Fox signing a deal with Hulu. Fox was open to licensing the show to both platforms, but Netflix wishes to be exclusive, meaning that they will not license a show if it can already be found on Hulu or Amazon Prime.

Numerous other shows by Fox have already been removed, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Bones”. These shows are also being moved to Hulu as part of Fox’s deal with the service. Others such as “Friday Night Lights” and “Prison Break” will soon be removed.

These removals are unusual considering the trend involving Netflix. Many high-profile shows are taken off of the streaming service, which could cause many to choose other streaming services instead of Netflix. Netflix wishes to keep their content exclusive, but people may not be willing to pay for multiple services.

Netflix hopes to engage their viewers with original content, which has proven successful so far. Shows such as “Stranger Things”, “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” received nominations for Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Netflix focuses the majority of their resources on original content since it currently cannot be licensed by other streaming services and helps bring in many viewers. Hulu and Amazon Prime have focused on original content as well as absorbing shows that were on Netflix. Titles such as Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Amazon Prime’s “Transparent” received many awards and brought attention to the newer streaming services.

With all of these shows being removed from Netflix, it is possible that other streaming services may take precedence over Netflix. Netflix has already lost viewership, decreasing 13 percent between March and June. Viewership may continue to decrease as they plan to increase monthly subscription costs by $1 to $2. T-Mobile has partnered with Netflix to pay for the Netflix service of those on their network, which may bring more viewers to Netflix.

As other companies continue acquiring new titles, the competition for dominance of online streaming will continue. If Netflix wishes to maintain their standing, they must make appealing original content or try to reclaim rights to shows they have lost.