The Slings and Arrows of TV Deals

On the eve of announcing a new online Warner Bros package, TVNZ isn’t commenting on why it’s abruptly pulled the latest seasons of WB’s Arrow and Supergirl.

Seasons two of Supergirl and five of Arrow had already completed their on-demand and Duke runs but were only a few episodes into their off-peak HD runs on TVNZ 2.

They were dropped from the schedule today, after Sky revealed yesterday that it had secured both series, along with sister shows DC Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, for its linear and streaming platforms.

“Our agreement [with WB] means that we no longer have these shows on TVNZ,” said a TVNZ spokeswoman who wouldn’t comment further on the terms of the deal.

But Sky’s linear rights don’t include these particular seasons of Arrow and Supergirl — only the new seasons about to go to air in the US, and which will premiere here early next year in SD on the Box.

So it would seem it was TVNZ’s choice to quit them early — presumably for financial expediency or not wanting to promote what will soon be rival properties.

Given the audience for these re-runs was tiny, it’s scarcely a big deal.

But if you were hoping to complete watching these seasons in HD on free-to-air TV, you’re out of luck as the remaining episodes effectively have gone into limbo (although Sky’s subscription service Neon is streaming s2 of Supergirl in HD).

Said the TVNZ spokeswoman:

We have a great relationship with Warner Bros, who are committed to working with us to get the content balance right for our viewers across broadcast TV and OnDemand. We’re pleased Warners have found a new home for these titles.

We’re also excited to now offer an expanded Warners catalogue to our viewers OnDemand. We’ll be sharing more details of our content plans tomorrow.

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26 Responses to “The Slings and Arrows of TV Deals”

  1. I don’t like this deal. SD episodes or a wait for Neon is not a good deal for DC fans! Back to the torrent sites for me.

  2. So now there is even less reason to watch Duke. These shows were the only reason I had TVNZOD. I’m very disappointed as they were about to premiere. Not cool.

  3. Clearly the DC Universe (and scifi in general) has no value to TVNZ – watch it in SD on Duke and/or burn it late night or Saturday afternoon with no audience to monetise. Next thing they’ll fast track programming and strip it in primetime later – and wonder why there is no audience for the advertiser. I feel another round of red ink for this financial year …

  4. Barry, you can buy the seasons as box sets from plenty of NZ retailers. Hardly much of a wait for what is arguably non-time-critical fodder. Why is it that you feel the need to steal the content when it’s so readily available?

  5. The reason why I download content is because I require 1920 by 1080 resolution. No one has 1920 by 1080 resolution express-from-the-US do they?

  6. @Mike. I don’t “feel the need to steal” at all. I’m against it. TVNZ On Demand offered The Flash, Legends and Arrow fast-tracked and in near HD quality in a simple-to-use option from my iPhone to Apple TV. I’m a Sky subscriber but SD broadcast on Box with Sky’s user unfriendly MySky box won’t work for me and I’m sure other quality broadcast purists. As for DVD boxed sets? 8 months late? No thanks — besides, that’s old technology that will clutter my shelves. That’s my personal choice, I understand, but we do live in an HD digital age. Whilst currently paying for Netflix and Apple Music, and with added-on access to Lightbox and Spotify via Spark, I would pay for Neon if they fast-tracked the series. But the idea of a boxed set Neon release doesn’t suit fans such as myself, who read up on these shows ahead of and during broadcast.

  7. @Barry let me quote you “Back to the torrent sites for me” from your first post. Clearly not the first time you’ve chosen to steal content cos it suits you. The old chestnut, “I want it and I want it now and if I can’t get it then it’s my god-given right to steal it from somewhere else”. Sound familiar?

  8. I see Sky are now closing Fatso down in November so you can’t hire TV shows http://www.nzherald.co.nz/television/news/article.cfm?c_id=339&objectid=11927042. I wish Netflix got all of the rights to superhero shows 🙂

  9. What happened with the announcement? It’s already 4pm and nothing.

  10. TVNZ’s holding its new-season launch today in Auckland http://www.nzherald.co.nz/television/news/article.cfm?c_id=339&objectid=11926906. So I presume it’s being announced there and a press release will be forthcoming.

  11. @Mike. Do you work for the police? Or Sky? LOL

  12. Nope. And I do not have and have never had any affiliation with Sky, any broadcaster or any other media organisation. I am the product of a police family so maybe that’s where I get my moral and ethical positioning. It would be fair to expect that your own upbringing was diametrically opposed?

  13. @Mike. No I’m actually from farming stock, not criminal stock. That might explain why I wake up at 5am with an urge to milk cows but not why I might want to torrent a few episodes here and there. I actually work in the media industry and am against piracy in particular films and music which I always pay for. But what is the harm of me seeking an HD copy of something already airing on Sky in SD when I have Sky (paid for, not stolen) rather than wait for another boxed set on Neon, which I would pay for if the episodes were fast tracked? Again, I don’t condone stealing content, but in this case surely it’s a ‘victimless crime’ as again, I’m paying for Sky and therefore rights to content. Of course, my argument probably wouldn’t stand up in court.

    I don’t condone wider stealing of content. Oh the moral dilemma of it all!

    I don’t really need a reply from you or your opinion. I lost respect for your end of the argument when you called my dear 95 year old mum a criminal. How rude!

  14. *sigh* If someone who works in the media industry cant see the wood for the trees then clearly all is lost. The “victimless crime” theory is bandied about so often. If I have multiple computers in my household then surely I’ve paid for my one copy of the software so I can install it everywhere right? You are against piracy in “particular films and music” but clearly not all films and music and you “don’t condone the wider stealing of content” but it’s okay when it suits you? Is that the moral dilemma that you seek to address? Surely your moral compass is working if you think that your argument probably wont stand up in court. You’ve asked and answered your own argument.

  15. @Barry – I’d like to apologise. In my morning stroll I realise that your viewpoint is absolutely right. So I am going to mend my ways. As I’ve paid to watch a movie at the cinema then I can download it and watch it again and again as I enjoyed it so much. No more Apple and Google fees for me. And thanks to advertisers already paying for it on TVNZ and MediaWorks then I can download and watch all the content that they have rights to as well. After all, it’s victimless as someone has already paid for it. Thanks, Barry, for helping me see the error of my ways.

  16. @Mike. Apology accepted! Have a nice day …

  17. But Neon *is* fast tracking the new DC series, other than Arrow, for which online rights were not available due to a pre-existing deal. They will also be available on Sky OnDemand. So no-one’s morality need be called into question!

  18. I’m sorry for jumping on an old thread. So who owns the streaming rights to Arrow?

  19. No such thing as an “old thread” on this site. It’s Netflix NZ.

  20. Hi Phil. Interesting. Why when I checked the encylopedic Unogs, Arrow doesn’t show up as a Kiwi show, yet going to Kiwi Netflix and sure enough it’s there … what gives?

  21. That site covers only 16 of the 190+ Netflix territories, and NZ isn’t one of them. It seems a country needs “sponsorship” before it can be part of the search engine.

  22. Seems like the “only 16” rule was a recent change at Unogs HQ? I recall not so long ago, NZ was definitely listed as a country in its listings?

  23. Thanks for the quick reply Philip. I think that I need to clarify. I know Netflix has Series 1-5, but who is showing series 6? I’m currently looking elsewhere …

  24. That could be so, Rosco. I’m not familiar enough with the site to comment.

  25. No one is streaming S6 legally locally. I don’t know how long Netflix’s licensing of the series runs for but presumably it includes S6, otherwise Sky would be streaming it on Neon as it’s doing with the latest seasons of Supergirl, The Flash and DC Legends of Tomorrow. If that’s the case, S6 won’t stream on Netflix until this time year. Have you tried using a service like Getflix to access The CW’s US stream?

  26. We have Neon playing Legends and The Flash really well and in HD. We don’t really watch Supergirl until the 4-way crossover episode and this will be the issue for Arrowverse fans this year. The TVNZ on demand was really good as all four shows were fast-tracked.

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