Midway through last year, the news came that Warner Bros. Discovery had struck a deal to license some of its iconic HBO comedy series library titles to Netflix on a non-exclusive basis.

It marked the very first time HBO shows would exist on a rival SVOD service within the United States with the likes of “Insecure,” “Six Feet Under,” “Ballers” and shortly “Sex and the City” making the jump.

Just like WBD’s cancellation of “Batgirl” for tax purposes led to a wave of finished projects being vaulted or sold off across other studios and streamers, so to this heralded numerous studios licensing out their content to other streamers in order to grow revenue.

Now filmmaker Judd Apatow has commented on that trend and what impact it will have on the industry at large. He tells Vulture:

“I’m of two minds. There’s a part of me that’s an audience member: I’ll go back and rewatch Deadwood or NYPD Blue or any of the David Milch shows. I understand why people like the comfort food of television.

But it’s a scary thing as a creator of television, because of all the streamers going, ‘Wait a second. We don’t need to spend $200 million on a new show. We can just bring back Barnaby Jones.’ They’re going to do it, then you’ll get fewer new shows.

They realize, Oh wait, Netflix can just buy shows from HBO, and I would assume they’re cheaper than making new ones. Then at some point, Netflix will sell its shows to HBO, and it’ll just be passing around all the episodes of Ballers for the rest of our lives.”

Part of the concern also likely stems from the success of the old “Suits” series on Netflix last year which dominated the streaming charts for months. It also comes from tech execs taking over from film execs in terms of decision-making:

“There are these corporate behemoths and people from the tech world taking over creativity. And for some of them – not all of them – their intentions are just eyeball time online.

I don’t know if they’re obsessed with quality filmmaking in the way other owners of these entities have been in the past. That’s why they started calling it ‘content.’ All of a sudden, they diminished it as much as it possibly could be.”

Apatow stresses its important for studios and streamers to take ‘big risks’ as that can led to successes like Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning “Oppenheimer” making a billion dollars.

Source: Deadline

The post Apatow: HBO Licensing To Netflix Is ‘Scary’ appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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