It looks like Netflix’s edgier, award-winning content is the least of the traditional TV giants threats. The digital streamer’s binge-methodology is at the root of the latest partnership between a major studio and network.
ABC and Warner Bros. Television Group have negotiated a deal that will give ABC viewers the option to consume entire seasons of any series produced by Warner Bros. that will launch in the next two years. The offer will be applied to a variety of video-on-demand platforms, most of which currently make only the last five or so episodes of a licensed TV show available for viewing over a limited period of time.
All end-of-season subscription video-on-demand rights will remain with Warner Bros. along with early syndication rights, day-after EST and early DVD rights.
“For our studio, the more people watch our shows, the more valuable they become for us over the long run,” Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy at Warner Bros. Television Group shared in a statement.
The deal illustrates the way network TV is adapting to the evolving realities of media consumption in order to remain competitive.The move follows other recent changes made by traditional TV companies, including Canada’s cable unbundling efforts to give buyers more control. While current licensing deals aim to limit what, when and how viewers can watch—a subtle encouragement to” keep watching “TV the way God intended new partnership signals that companies using the current (and crumbling) business model are listening to customers’ complaints and desires.
“This is a real win for network television viewers,” ABC’s executive vice president for business operations, Jana Winograde, said in a statement. “Giving our audience even more opportunities to catch up on their favorite shows in their entirety, on demand, only enhances their loyalty to and engagement with ABC and our series.”