Netflix has had talks with media companies including ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal about licensing Netflix original series and movies to outlets including linear networks, according to The Information.
It’s not an entirely unprecedented move—Netflix began licensing repeats of animated comedy Bojak Horseman to ViacomCBS’ Comedy Central network back in 2018.
But it does still seem like a bit of role reversal, given that Netflix built its $230 billion market capitalization largely on the back of licensed content from the major media conglomerates.
The Information said shows would be licensed on a limited bases, earmarked for linear, time period-specific airing as opposed to all-posted-at-once, smorgasbord availability.
Netflix reportedly spent more than $17 billion on content in 2020, far more than any supplier. While Netflix’s strategy of making all shows from all seasons available on demand has helped propel it to true positive cashflow scale, exceeding 200 million subscribers globally, the strategy isn’t so good at building off network value for its original shows.
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