Sure, Netflix bought the rights to House of Cards and has a digital deal with Starz (that expires this fall), but it’s not like you can stream HBO’s True Blood. Showtime has been playing less nicely with Netflix streaming, too.
Crain’s New York Business reports that by midyear Showtime will pull the early seasons of originals Dexter and Californication. Showtime had already stopped Netflix streaming of later seasons of Dexter and any episodes of newer originals like Nurse Jackie.
“We’re more conscious of [the competition] now,” said Showtime CEO Matthew Blank, who declined to comment on specific shows. “With all the options out there, we want to be sure people know they have to subscribe to see Dexter or The Borgias.”
It makes sense that a premium subscription service like Showtime want to rein in easy and cheap access to its content. Going forward, you’ll have to subscribe, buy the DVDs or buy the downloads (or, yeah, yeah, I know…). At this point, only the first season of Californication and the first two seasons of Dexter are available for Netflix streaming. The first five seasons of Weeds are still available, though that is a Lions Gate production.