HBO Refusing to Provide Discs to Netflix
I guess the executives at HBO decided the "Lilyhammer" trailer that Netflix released a couple of days ago looked pretty good. In just about a month Netflix will break into the world of original programming with a show that looks, at least vaguely, like the type of show that HBO has become famous for over the last 10-15 years. One has to assume that this is why HBO has decided that they are no longer going to provide discs to Netflix for their rental service. It won't actually have any impact on Netflix's ability to offer HBO discs, but it will require that Netflix buy the discs from a third party. Should HBO be nervous about Netflix's expansion into original programming, or is the timing of HBO's decision simply coincidence?
The move is said to be "largely symbolic," as Netflix still owns whichever discs it purchased previously and can still legally purchase future HBO discs from other parties and rent them to customers under the copyright doctrine of first sale. (Indeed, Netflix tell us it will continue to offer HBO DVDs and Blu-rays, although it's never had any HBO content on its streaming service.)