Deja Vu: Channel 4 shows leaving Netflix UK in March after all?
James R | On 05, Mar 2014
Father Ted, The IT Crowd, Skins and other Channel 4 shows will be removed from Netflix UK on Saturday 15th March, research from VODzilla.co can reveal.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is: the potential removal of Channel 4 titles from the Internet TV service’s catalogue follows almost exactly the same situation last month, when favourites such as Peep Show, Shameless and Green Wing were all set to be removed on Saturday 15th February.
At the time, Channel 4 told us: “VoD content has been part of Netflix since its very first day in the UK over two years ago – and we’ve had a line-up of Channel 4 shows on Amazon for some time now. We value our partnerships with both Netflix and Amazon and have on-going discussions about the make-up of our content showcase on the platforms.”
Indeed, those discussions led to the renewal of Channel 4’s streaming licences on Netflix UK on Tuesday 18th February, bringing all of the departed programmes back online three days after they were taken down.
Now, though, the same group of programmes are bidding farewell on Saturday 15th March, exactly one calendar month on from their last expiry date.
Are they going once and for all?
Deals expire and start all the time on subscription video on-demand services. Indeed, several BBC titles were briefly set for removal at the end of last month but were swiftly renewed by the broadcaster. With Channel 4, though, the potential expiry of the deal occurs as the company is placing a growing emphasis on its own 4oD platform, removing free episodes from YouTube and using the user data from its in-house platform to drive up both advertising revenue and inform commissioning decisions.
Since last month, three Channel 4 shows have been taken down from Netflix UK: Teachers, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd and Margaret and Top Boy. All three titles were not part of the original February removal batch, though, instead belonging to a separate group that included Black Books, Drop the Dead Donkey and Elizabeth I. The latter three titles are still available on Netflix UK with no expiry date currently listed.
The list of shows set to be removed this time, meanwhile, remains exactly the same, ranging from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares to Sirens and Fresh Meat. The matching dates suggest that Channel 4 and Netflix UK renewed their agreement for the specific shows for one month. Will the same thing happen again in couple of weeks? Is this going to happen on the 15th of every month?
And, with Black Books Drop the Dead Donkey and Elizabeth I remaining apparently immune from the chop, are they subject to a separate, longer deal? Or, as Netflix factors in viewer demand as part of its licensing decisions, do people simply stream more Bernard Black than Father Ted?
At the moment, only time will tell. We have contacted both Channel 4 and Netflix but both declined to comment.
List of Channel 4 shows leaving Netflix UK on Saturday 15th March
Anatomy for Beginners
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
Cutting Edge: Cocaine
Cutting Edge: Katie: My Beautiful Friends
Cutting Edge: My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding
Da Ali G Show
Derren Brown: Enigma
Friday Night Dinner
Heston’s Fishy Feasts
Hugh’s Chicken Run
Made in Chelsea
My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding
Pete Versus Life
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
The IT Crowd
Channel 4 shows not leaving Netflix UK:
Drop the Dead Donkey
Our thanks to @gowler42, who alerted us to The IT Crowd’s new expiry date in the early hours of this morning.