Netflix Loses Most A+E Streaming Content

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Netflix has dropped some 40 TV shows and miniseries from A+E Networks from its video-streaming service, representing more than 800 hours of content, while it continues to offer a smaller selection of A+E’s programming, Variety reported.

Shows no longer available via streaming on Netflix as of last Friday, Sept. 21, include History's Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and American Pickers, along with A&E's Dog the Bounty Hunter, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, Hoarders and Intervention, according to Variety. Up to 300 hours of mostly older content from channels including A&E, History and Bio remains on Netflix, the trade magazine reported.

Netflix had been asking for exclusive online distribution rights for the A+E content -- something the programmer was not willing to offer, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Netflix director of corporate communications Joris Evers said that the company’s rights to some of the A+E content expired last week while some is still available.

“We have titles go offline and online all the time,” Evers wrote in an email. “We look to license titles strategically and acquire rights for titles Netflix members watch.”

An A+E spokesman declined to comment.

Many of the A+E shows now unavailable via streaming are still available to rent through Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service.

In February 2012, Netflix’s content-licensing deal with Starz Entertainment expired. Netflix executives downplayed the loss of Starz content, which covered 15 Disney titles in the pay-TV window as well as catalog films. "There was no discernible change in churn or viewing levels. Instead, the trend towards watching episodic TV, like Breaking Bad, on Netflix continues to grow," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a shareholder letter in April.

Last year, meanwhile, Showtime Networks pulled content including original series Dexter and Californication from the streaming service.

Netflix had 23.9 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the end of June, after gaining 530,000 in the second quarter of 2012. However, the company told investors it may be "challenging" to hit its target of 7 million domestic net additions for the full year.