Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Adds "Saturday Night Live," "Battlestar Galactica," More NBC U Shows to Web Service

This could make a Web-only offering from Netflix that much more appealing: The movie service has signed an expanded rights deal with GE’s NBC Universal (GE) unit. The deal gives Netflix (NFLX) Web access to a long list of NBC U shows, from broadcast–every episode of “Saturday Night Live”–to cable–like Syfy’s awesome “Battlestar Galactica.”

The cable shows are particularly noteworthy, since those programs are generally not available on Netflix rival Hulu–which is co-owned by NBC, along with Disney’s (DIS) ABC and News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox.

In fact, while Netflix makes a point of not advertising access to any particular show or movie on its service, it does consistently well with cable programming, at least compared with Hulu. For instance: Episodes of “Dexter,” from CBS’s Showtime pay channel, do particularly well on Netflix–but CBS has no Hulu deal at all.

And it’s also worth noting that, going forward, all new episodes of “Saturday Night Live”–one of Hulu’s best assets–will be available the day after they air. Just like they are on Hulu.

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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