Starz, Showtime pull back Netflix support

Netflix has enough on its plate without worrying about its content being affected by Hollywood bigwigs and cable TV execs concerned the hugely popular online video streaming service is becoming a bit too powerful. Amazon added streaming VOD last month for its paying Prime subscribers, new companies are cropping up eager for a shot at the market and Netflix itself just spent a rumored $100 million landing the exclusive rights to its own original drama series, “House of Cards.”

A couple major cable TV players are now adding some restrictions to what content they’re allowing Netflix to run, and when.

Starz, Showtime pull back Netflix support

Starz, the cable TV programmer behind “Spartacus” and the upcoming “Camelot,” says that come April 1st its original series won’t see the inside of anyone’s Netflix queue for 90 days reports Hollywood insider site Variety. No April Fool’s joke, the company also stated that a slew of movies licensed through studios such as Disney and Sony would “follow suit.” No date for when these films would be impacted by the new plan was revealed.

This news follows the announcement that CBS-owned Showtime would also be pulling its original content from the video streamer’s roster. Starting this summer, all current Showtime TV programming will be yanked from Netflix for the greener pastures of Showtime’s own streaming service, “Showtime Anytime.”

While it’s widely known HBO programming is noticeably absent from Netflix’s massive offering, that’s not from a lack of trying. Many view Netflix landing “House of Cards” as a direct response to HBOs continued resistance in making its original series available on the service. The network was allegedly part of the bidding war leading up to the project, which is being directed by David Fincher. Netflix’s move into securing its own exclusive shows is likely a motivating factor in both Showtime and Starz restricting access to their own programs.

The decision to compete directly with cable TV networks may have far-reaching ramifications for Netflix. These restrictions could just be the start.