A Stream Come True

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Between Netflix, Hulu, HBOGO, Amazon, etc. it seems like, with the appropriate subscription, we should be able to stream any show we want at any time. Yet, there are plenty of popular shows that are only available to those with cable.

At first I thought that perhaps these shows have an older audience, one that might not use streaming services. But shows like Seinfeld, Fresh Prince and The Simpsons appeal to a younger generation that has gotten used to streaming (and probably binge-watching) their favorite shows. Even my parents, who I’m sure would love to stream ER, have subscriptions to several streaming services and use cable exclusively for sports.

So why don’t we see some of our favorite shows on these streaming services? I did a bit of research and it seems like they have nothing to lose. Netflix, for example, spends billions per year on licensing content for its viewers, so the shows will make money from streaming.  Additionally, for shows that don’t appear on streaming services, Internet users are either going to turn to illegal uploads or forget about the shows completely.

I don’t fully understand the agreements that these shows have with cable providers – they may be locked into contracts that don’t allow them to appear on streaming services. If that is the case, hopefully they can get out of those contracts soon enough, as cable providers continue to lose viewers to these streaming services. The takeaway is that there are many popular shows that still do not appear on streaming services, and if they want to stay relevant for as long as possible, they should work hard to fix that.

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