Negotiations between Netflix and the folks over at the History Channel and A&E didn't pan out, and the streaming company has now lost around 800 hours of programming.
If you've been planning to sit down with your Netflix Watch Instantly account and catch up with Pawn Stars or Storage Wars, you're currently going to find yourself out of luck. As we reported last week, the companies were locked in 11th hour negotiations over the programming leading up to the termination of the current agreement this past Friday. The report that it was over exclusivity rights has been confirmed by a source that spoke with The Wrap about the matter, and added that while the shows are currently missing, they could indeed return at a future date. There is still about 300 hours of programming from A&E on the service that was covered by a different agreement that expires in June 2013.
Netflix has been said to be growing increasingly concerned about exclusivity as Amazon has now been snatching up every show it can for its Prime Instant Video Service. Earlier this month Netflix saw its exclusivity with Epix come to an end, and three days later Amazon announced the addition of the content to its own streaming service. At $95.88 a year for Netflix vs. $79 a year for Amazon Prime – which also nets you free Kindle books and unlimited two day shipping from the retailer – the former is going to need to make itself as appealing as possible with exclusive content. If consumers can find the exact same shows and movies on both services, it's going to be difficult to justify continuing to pay for Watch Instantly.
There has been no word as of yet of Amazon picking up the rights to any of this content, and Netflix and the two cable channels are said to still be negotiating.