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Netflix mulls licensing original shows to broadcast, cable networks

Netflix has held discussions with several media companies about licensing some of its original programs for airing on linear networks, according to a report.

Last week, Silicon Valley trade publication The Information said Netflix executives had spoken with their counterparts at Comcast (NBC), ViacomCBS and other companies about distributing original programs on their channels.

Netflix has licensed some of its programs to third party companies in the past: Its original series “Narcos” began streaming on ViacomCBS service Pluto TV last year. Another ViacomCBS property, Comedy Central, has aired re-runs of “Bojack Horseman” in syndication since 2019.

This new strategy would apparently allow ViacomCBS and other companies to secure first-run rights to Netflix-produced programs, which could help Netflix recoup some of the $17 billion it spent on producing shows and movies last year. It may also put the Netflix brand in front of traditional cable, satellite and over-the-air TV watchers who aren’t one of the 200 million people paying $14 a month for the streaming service.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).