Netflix is flexing its financial muscles once again. This time around Netflix has procured the multi-territorial rights to Warner Bros. Gotham even before a the first episode has aired. What else makes this deal special? Usually those rights are worked out on a country by county basis and not packaged together. How much did Netflix shell out per episode?
Last month Netflix purchased the rights to stream NBC‘s hit show The Blacklist, starring James Spader, at a reported $2 million per episode. Sources are putting the Gotham per episode price at around the same figure.
Jeffery Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros Worldwide Television says:
In this era of new business models and expanding windows, this is an unprecedented deal for our company and our industry.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said:
‘Gotham’ is the most anticipated new series of the fall season and we are thrilled to offer it to our members around the world The Batman origin story is sure to have massive global appeal so it is fitting that, along with Warner Television, we have created a new model for distributing a show that international and domestic audiences will love.
The main difference between the two deals is that The Blacklist deal was only for the domestic rights while the Gotham deal includes all territories Netflix is currently available in and those countries that Netflix will be operating in by the end of the year like Germany and France.This back end world rights should be where Netflix makes back the majority of its money on this deal.
Warner Bros. did reserve the right to sell the SVOD rights in countries that Netflix doesn’t operate in so those without Netflix service might still see Gotham streaming in their area on other services.
Why did Netflix make the early jump on the rights to stream Gotham? Most likely the attention that rival streaming services Hulu and Amazon were paying the series. That attention helped Warner Bros. get such a great price per episode while they did have to sweeten the pot with the additional worldwide rights.
What Warner Bros. is banking on is that when Netflix begins streaming the first season of Gotham just before the second season premieres that those viewers catching up by binge watching the series will be hooked into tuning in for the second season’s weekly airing. It’s a solid strategy that worked for the last season of Breaking Bad, but we’ll have to see if it pays off in the long run at the beginning of a series like Gotham.
For most of us that plan to tune is as the show airs this will only provide us a method to get friends and family into the series using Netflix binge watching.