‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Ice Road Truckers’ disappear from Netflix


Content from A&E; and the History Channel -- including such shows as “Pawn Stars” and “Ice Road Truckers” -- disappeared Friday from Netflix as a licensing deal between the companies expired.

People familiar with the negotiations offered differing accounts of what transpired.

One party, who declined to be named because of the confidentiality of the matter, said talks are ongoing. Another person with knowledge of the matter said Netflix elected not to renew the deal because the shows aren’t heavily in demand.


Variety first reported that at least 40 series had vanished from the Netflix service amid a licensing impasse.

As Netflix enters its fifth year of streaming, the subscription TV and movie service appears to be growing more selective. It no longer pays for exclusive digital distribution rights for Epix content, which includes new movies from Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

At this week’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was asked to explain the decision to end its exclusive online distribution deal with pay-TV channel Epix.

“It proved that it wasn’t differentiated enough. And because of the nature of the exclusivity and the fact that it was on other pay-TV -- the Epix channel is carried by other operators, who are free to do competitive services to Netflix under our exclusivity -- it wasn’t really that exclusive,” Sarandos said.

The most-watched content on Netflix is exclusively available to the service -- including past seasons of AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”

“These are very data-centric decisions -- which shows we pursue and what economics we pursue for those shows,” Sarandos said. “So we establish early on whether or not there is an audience for the show, based on comparable content and the viewing behavior that we know about our subscribers, that when they watch this they also watch this.”

Earlier this month, Netflix struck a deal with ABC to carry complete first seasons of the ABC shows “Revenge,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Scandal.” These scripted dramas are available online only through Netflix.


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