As I’m sure we’ve mentioned before a few times, we no longer have cable or TV access, and instead watch shows through a combination of Hulu, NetFlix, HBO Now, and season passes through iTunes. It’s a move that a lot of people are making. When we got down to basic cable, we had basic cable plus digital TV box plus DVR so it was a pretty hefty pricetag still.
There’s been a real ebb and flow over time as to what NetFlix and Hulu have available. At this point, it seems like NetFlix is pretty close to the HBO model, of having a movie available for a period of time and then it’s gone. Julia has been keeping up with these changes lately here on the blog. Then they tend to have back-seasons of TV shows, but not the current season.
Hulu, meanwhile, seems to be the place to go for the current season of TV shows. Some networks and shows, they seem to have the whole season; others, they have only the most recent 5 episodes. Sometimes, like during long breaks or once seasons have ended, they seem to start “replaying” episodes and rotating through the season for which 5 are available – we only just caught the last two episodes of Legends of Tomorrow last week by noticing we were about to lose them to this rolling replay of the season.
All of these differences and business models are changing through constant deals with different studios, and I’m glad that deals happen at all. Otherwise, you get everyone trying to be like CBS and run their own paid streaming service. When the choice is to pay as much for CBS as we pay for access to all of the other networks… we skip CBS.
So it sounds like the deal that’s probably going to happen between CW (which it seems is partially owned by CBS) and Hulu is going to end up status quo. Hulu seems to have wanted to pick up the full current seasons, and CW doesn’t want that… but at least they can hopefully keep the recent 5? We heard this news, anyway, that the deal is ongoing and that there’s some small chance that Hulu loses CW… and it got us thinking.
At this point, with the shows on the air, that we watch, that we have access to through our services… if Hulu lost CW, would there be a reason for us to keep it?
We watch some ABC shows, although Castle has ended, and I wonder if with the new Disney/NetFlix deal we could watch ABC shows on NetFlix sooner too (so Agents of SHIELD and… nope, they cancelled everything else). NBC lost us with most of their shows. No, we’re realizing that most of the shows we are planning on still watching in the fall are all on CW: Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, iZombie, and Supergirl even is being moved over from CBS to CW.
We’ve slowly cut services from our life. Full cable. Basic cable. For a long period we had dropped NetFlix. But there’s been some adds… Our town now has Red Box. We have Amazon Prime and just never think to look at it (the access always looks close to NetFlix when we do look, and it’s not on the Apple TV so we don’t look often since it doesn’t seem worth it). And I’m sure, if we dropped Hulu, we’d be back at some future point. New deals, new shows.
But the thought that we might drop it just made me go “huh.” Watching TV has become a very common part of our lives these last few years – we’re often watching a show while blogging. Or you know, catching up on Game of Thrones and not even thinking of blogging *cough cough tonight cough*
So how about you? Have you had up and down relationships with the streaming services? What makes you leave – and what makes you stay? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As the deals have been unfolding, it does seem that indeed, Hulu has lost their deal with the CW, and NetFlix has picked up a solid deal – albeit one that only lets them release the season once the finale has aired. While that seems great for the inevitable future re-watching of these shows, for the moment that doesn’t help answer the question about the shows on CW that we watch. At the moment, that’s 5 shows that we would have to totally keep up with within the 5-episode rolling backfile on the CW App. To be fair, that’s not really different from what we’ve been doing now with Hulu…
The answer may have to do with what happens with the ABC show(s) which might just be Agents of SHIELD. If it’s available on NetFlix with their Disney/Marvel deal, then I think there’s no reason for us at least for Hulu. Given that our original plan for dropping cable was basically, “yeah but we have Hulu and it has everything,” it’s still really weird to think of dropping it next.