Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Netflix Snags the Rights to Fox’s “Gotham” Before One Episode Has Aired

I'm sure that after the recent success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, there are many out there eagerly anticipating the arrival of  for the prequel “Gotham” on the Fox Network.

Has it only been a year since the arrival of another movie based spinoff by the name of Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. was also delivered into the eager arms of Marvel fan boys one and all?  By the time the first season of Agents ended, it seems like most people have forgotten that it even existed.  The show everybody was talking about became the show nobody was talking about.  Agents of What?

But Netflix is betting that Gotham won't meet with the same fate. They have just paid Fox for the exclusive rights to stream the series.  Netflix chief, Ted Sarandos, says “it’s the most anticipated series of the new fall season”.  I suppose so, unless of course that means that the new lineup which begins this month is mediocre fodder from beginning to end.  By the end of the month, they’ll be dropping like flies.

So how much is Netflix paying for the privilege of streaming what they and Fox must believe is the greatest TV show ever?

Let me put it to you this way: They paid $2 million an episode to NBC for the privilege of bringing you "The Blacklist." You can also use this chart to determine how much Netflix is paying to produce original programming.

The Hollywood Reporter:
Under the deal between Netflix and Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, the streaming service will get exclusive subscription video on demand rights for Gotham in the U.S., territories in which Netflix operates, as well as some additional territories. Seasons of the series will become available after their initial broadcast dates starting in fall 2015.

"Gotham is the most anticipated new series of the fall season and we are thrilled to offer it to our members around the world," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. "The Batman origin story is sure to have massive global appeal so it is fitting that, along with Warner Television, we have created a new model for distributing a show that international and domestic audiences will love."

Netflix declined to comment on how much it was paying for the rights. It recently paid a pretty penny for rights to NBC's The Blacklist, coughing up $2 million an episode for the series. Deadline first reported the news of the Gotham deal. Gotham, which takes place years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, centers on the early days of James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), who in DC Comics lore eventually ascends to the position of Gotham police commissioner.
I'm going to be honest with you. I don't think streaming reruns of Gotham or The Blacklist for the amount of money they are undoubtedly paying, is good for subscribers. Eventually Netflix is going to raise its rates, and the content will start to grow lackluster in many other areas as the big money goes to a chosen few with not much left over for anything else. 

How many of the package deals will Netflix be able to sign up when their cash flow is tied up in a few single series?  I don't have the answer to that, but maybe Police Commissioner Gordon does. Ask him.  We'll wait and see.

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