Networks Plan To Freeze Out VoD Streaming

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The television industry may have finally worked out a way to get around concerns about viewers “cord-cutting” and dropping their cable boxes in favor of Video on Demand: Stop releasing their show to VoD companies.

Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent, talking at the Citigroup Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference yesterday, described his plan to fight back against companies like Netflix and their VoD-like: “Freezing” streaming Video on Demand rights to popular shows, so that they’ll only be available on television:

I think there’s a heightened sense across the industry of the importance of freezing those rights, and that’s what you see us from us in the future. We’re going back to other series on renewals and attempting successfully to retroactively freeze the SVOD rights.

According to Kent, multiple networks are already discussing this with studios and content providers, and are playing hardball:

We tell our suppliers, the studios we buy from: This is going to have a significant impact on what we’ll be willing to pay for programming or even bid at all.

Whether this idea catches on, and to what extent – Doesn’t the same logic extend to DVD releases of TV shows? – remains to be seen, but if it does, it could change both the state of television programming as well as what’s available on demand.

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