Netflix Content Czar Takes On BBC Kidfare Windows

NETFLIX'S content chief Ted Sarandos has charged the BBC with stifling the potential of UK home-grown children’s shows.

Netflix is the primary player in the move to make-over the TV business model of drip feeding series and staggering launches in different countries around the world. The BBC's practice of holding back kids shows from the US video-on-demand company’s streaming service for up to five years forces Netflix to import US shows into the UK, Sarandos says.

Sarandos, whose budget for content runs to $2 billion annually, has charged that Netflix could be paying the BBC a lot of money for license fees that might be ploughed back into more BBC home-grown programming, The Guardian reports. Netflix has BBC programming in the US and Latin America without the five year holdback. Said Sarandos, "It is a huge mistake – kids' brands have very short life cycles and I'm not willing to pay anything for those things five years later.”

The content czar has implied that the BBC Worldwide’s strategy could threaten the global relationship between the BBC and Netflix. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC,  has downplayed the significance of the five-year window in licensing content to the VOD market. It argues that Netflix still gets plenty of popular shows eventually such as Charlie & Lola and The Sarah Jane Adventures.