Networks Are Happy Netflix Is Finally Canceling Shows [Opinion]

Netflix has had a unique run on a business platform that has set themselves apart from other TV networks. Even though they are the original pioneer in streaming video services, Netflix has had a long and happy history of keeping their shows alive, with a few rare exceptions.

In the early days, Netflix had brought their original programming to their streaming video platform and let them run year after year without any major interruptions, such as a cancellation or extended periods of time between the release of various seasons. But there have been a few rare exceptions to that premise.

One of the first Netflix original series shows was the Eli Roth-helmed Hemlock Grove. The first season of the show has been considered by many to be great. But the two subsequent seasons did not have much life to them, which in turn led to the cancellation of the show, much to the dismay of the public.

This has also been somewhat of an unspoken sticking point for executives in the TV industry who have been forced to adopt a broadcast model on a linear timeline. Although many TV networks have expanded their reach by adding extra or premium channels to cable and satellite packages, there has been little room to compete with Netflix and their non-linear TV and movie consumption business model.

TV networks have also tried to make their own versions of the non-linear business model made famous by Netflix, but they have struggled to make such things a salable product for their company without forcing them to compete with themselves.

But as of recently, Netflix announced that they were canceling two TV shows that had a dedicated audience. Those two shows were Sense8 and The Get Down. News of the demise of these two Netflix shows was something that TV industry executives welcomed with a breath of fresh air, according to Deadline.

It is important to note that even though Netflix does have a strategic non-linear advantage over the classic cable and broadcast networks, those same networks still enjoy brand loyalty from viewers and most still tune in for that reason alone. But in order for the networks to prosper, they have to keep growing. That has essentially stalled, or at least slowed down, now that most U.S. consumers are “cutting the cord” and optioning for streaming content from streamers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

But still, the networks are happy to see Netflix taking the same actions that they themselves have to take in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.

“I’m glad they’re (Netflix) canceling shows,” FX executive Nick Grad told Deadline at the ATX Television Festival. “They can’t have 10,000 shows…I think it brings them back in the ecosystem of where we’re all trying to make the best shows and the best decisions. They have a lot more shots and we just have to do better.”

Also in attendance at the ATX Television Festival was a Netflix competitor, Hulu’s Craig Erwich, who also had a few things to say about the recent cancellations by Netflix.

“They’re (Netflix) capitalist so I assume that they are, at any given time, making the best decision that they think is in the interest of their business,” Erwich said. “If canceling shows is the phase where they are, it makes sense.”

That seems to be an opinion shared by anyone in the television industry, or anywhere else in the United States. It doesn’t make sense for a company to make decisions that will not allow it to grow or prosper. But in the case of Netflix, they have not had to make such brash decisions in the past because they still got their viewers watching content on their streaming platform, no matter what time of day it was. That is the obvious advantage of non-linear television.

[Featured Image by Ken Ishii/Getty Images]