Some major TV networks have begun to play hardball with Netflix, demanding that the streaming company display their logos and branding more prominently, according to The Wall Street Journal. These networks seem to be afraid that Netflix users will forget who is actually making the shows in the first place.
A prime example of this is ABC’s hit show How to Get Away with Murder. While most shows on Netflix don’t show much evidence of where they come from, Murder includes a few-second promo at the start that displays the ABC logo. The show’s title in the Netflix menu also shows a tiny ABC logo in the top left.
According to the Journal, when ABC negotiated the license, it extracted these types of concessions for its shows.
Some particularly zealous Netflix subscribers might view this as the first step in a slippery slope toward allowing ads on the platform. But it’s important to remember that this is just the functional equivalent of the credits that roll before a movie. The fact that some shows have no network branding at the start might simply be a leftover from the era of cable TV reruns, which usually do not carry the branding of the original network.
But even if it doesn’t represent Netflix caving to the networks with regards to advertising, the trend does seem to indicate a fear by ABC and others that their brands are losing ground. When people are watching shows on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, it’s often easy for them to forget where they came from.
And ABC doesn’t want Netflix trying to take the credit, however indirectly.
“[Netflix] should be obligated to offer that little bit of branding material. I’m glad to see it going into that direction,” one head a major TV studio told the Journal.
With Netflix producing more and more of its own high-quality original content, networks want Netflix users know they still make great shows too.