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Showtime Plays Hardball with Netflix

On Tuesday, Showtime Networks said its newly negotiated deal with Netflix will not allow the subscription service to distrbute its currently airing original programs, reported the Los Angeles Times. When the new agreement goes into effect this summer, episodes of shows, such as "Californication" and "Dexter," will be offered only on Showtime Anytime, Showtime's online service for its subscribers. Though, other Showtime original series, like "The Tudors," will still be streamed on Netflix since they are no longer on the air. This new deal is a big change from the current partnership Showtime and Netflix have, in which Netflix streams several seasons of "Californication" and "Dexter." However, Wednesday afternoon a Netflix spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times that the company  "may or may not renew with Showtime. "

Just last week, Netflix announced its movement into original programming by acquiring David Finch's "House of Cards." The television industry may have seen this move as a possible challenge to lucrative premium cable channels. The Los Angeles Times argues that Showtime's using its current original programs as "bait to sign up and retain subscribers." Though CBS, Showtime's owners, reached a deal with Netflix last month, which allows the subscription service to stream "classic" CBS-owned programs. It appears CBS' strategy is to use Netflix as syndication warehouse. Isn't that called TV Land? No, that has original programming, too. 
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