Variety first reported Sunday that over 800 hours of content from cable channels A&E and History were scheduled to expire Sept. 21 including some of cable’s highest rated unscripted series in recent years, such as History’s “Ice Road Truckers,” “Pawn Stars” and “American Pickers” and A&E’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels,” “Hoarders” and “Intervention.”
Reps for Netflix and A+E Networks declined comment.
Sources offered differing interpretations on negotiations between the two companies. One said both sides continued to discuss whether there were acceptable terms to a deal that would keep the content on the service but that talks ultimately broke off without resolution. The other said Netflix had made up its mind to move on weeks ago and had no further discussion on the subject.
There is still 200-300 more hours of content from A&E and History that remains on Netflix, mostly older content from the channels including “Biography.”
While there’s no way to evaluate how big a draw A+E Networks’ content was on Netflix, the sheer volume may make it the biggest withdrawal for the streaming service since Starz pulled Disney and Sony movies in February.
Netflix may be losing its taste for unscripted material. The comapny is also schedule to drop dozens of titles licensed for streaming by National Geographic, incluing series from its cable channels including “Border Wars,” “DogTown” and “Taboo.”
A rep for National Geographic declined comment.
Of course, a removal of content from Netflix doesn’t necessarily mean it is gone forever as future negotiations can bring them back at some point. Netflix made some notable content additions in recent weeks, including exclusive U.S. rights to “Derek,” a comedy series starring Ricky Gervais that will run on Channel 4 in the U.K.; the Morgan Spurlock documentary “Mansome” in U.S., Canada and the U.K., and the first seasons of ABC series “Once Upon A Time,” “Scandal” and “Revenge.”