The Complications of Streaming

I was as disappointed as many fans were when SF series, The Expanse, was cancelled by SyFy in the US a couple of months ago. Outside the US, the show airs on Netflix (on a six month delay), but it was Amazon that revived the series. Non-US viewers like me were left wondering whether Netflix will continue airing a show that Jeff Bezos himself is said to be a fan of.

Today comes news that Fox show Lucifer has been saved. Fox had cancelled the show that was also shown on Hulu in the US. This time it was Netflix that has come in to save the show. Yet in the UK, Lucifer seasons 1 to 3 have aired on Amazon.

So in the UK we’re left with a Netflix show saved by Amazon, and an Amazon show saved by Netflix!

Now it’s never quite that simple, and rights will often reside with various production bodies. What’s more, Netflix and Amazon might well have done “run of life” deals with the intellectual property owners of those series. For example, when Longmire was saved from cancellation by Netflix in the US, it never reached Netflix UK. Instead, the series made by Warner Horizons, continued to air on TCM.

It’ll be interesting to see whether these saved series continue where they have been airing, appear split between streaming partners, or quietly switch sides and move to the other platform.