Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Time Warner Cashes Another Check From the Albanian Army

adult swimThere was a period where Time Warner used to go out of its way to belittle Netflix publicly. Now the media giant has the same attitude as the rest of its peers: It is happy to keep cashing the video service’s checks.

The two companies announced a new pact today that will move more Time Warner shows to Netflix: Animated stuff from Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, along with TNT’s “Dallas.”

As with every other Netflix TV deal, these are all repeats: No one is selling Netflix stuff that they’re still running on their own network.

But, at the right price, the deal is a nice addition for Netflix, particularly the Cartoon Network stuff, which bolsters a kids lineup that’s already a key part of the service.

It also helps buffer Netflix in case Viacom gets itchy and ends up taking away its Nickelodeon programming when that deal ends. And the Adult Swim stuff is great for stoners.

Bigger picture: This is the third deal Netflix has made to get its hands on Time Warner programming. In October 2011, it paid up big for stuff that used to run on the CW Network, which is jointly owned by Time Warner and CBS. Last week, it struck another deal for shows made by Warner Bros. studio, including NBC’s “Revolution.”

Biggest picture: This doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the video stuff Time Warner values the most — its movies and its HBO shows — on Netflix, now or ever.

Jeff Bewkes has made it quite clear that he’s happy to use Netflix as a syndication outlet for stuff he’s already gotten maximum value from. If Reed Hastings thinks he can make money with Bewkes’s leftovers, he is happy to sell them.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work