Netflix keeping most – but not all – current BBC content (Upated)
Update: Netflix and the BBC have reached a new deal that will allow most of the BBC content currently streaming in the US to remain. Popular shops like Doctor Who (new and old), Top Gear, and The Office will remain available on Netflix.
There are a few shows that won’t return, however, according to Variety. Among those not returning on February 1 are: Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, MI-5, and Red Dwarf.
Original post ran 1/14/15: If you’ve been planning on binge watching some Doctor Who, you better do it before the end of January. On February 1, all BBC content currently being streamed on Netflix will be removed, according to Giant Freaking Robot.
That includes everything from Doctor Who to Top Gear to The Office (UK) and much more. The loss of all BBC content is down to the license agreement between Netflix and the BBC, which is set to expire. When it does, everything with a BBC tag goes with it.
The loss would be significant, and dozens of shows, mini-series, documentaries, and more will disappear.
This almost happened last January when the BBC license went up for renewal, but the companies reached a last minute agreement to keep the content streaming for just one year. That contract is ready to expire, and it doesn’t appear that there is a lot of movement from the two sides to renew it.
That could change, of course, and for everyone’s sake hopefully it will.
The streaming of some British shows has helped to popularize them in America, none more so than the new series of Doctor Who. The 50 year old sci-fi show is one of the most popular shows in the world, and in America the ratings continue to climb. When it first returned to the air in 2005 though, it didn’t reach American shores – legitimately – for months, and when it did it aired at odd times as syndication allowed.
If you run into a fan of the series that has only recently started to watch it, ask them how they caught up with the show. Good money says the answer will be “on Netflix.” The same is probably true for some of the BBC’s other international hits, like Top Gear. Bringing them back would be good for the BBC.
There is even a petition with over 21,000 signatures from fans to keep Doctor Who on Netflix. Saving it would mean saving all BBC programs (barring a complicated and bizarre license agreement), but Doctor Who is the focus.
If that isn’t enough reason for Netflix to push for the renewal, the BBC content will remain available on other streaming services, including Hulu and Amazon Prime. Keeping the content would be good for Netflix.
For now though, if you want to binge watch any BBC content on Netflix, this may be your last chance.