In what is believed to be the biggest subscription video-on-demand deal for a TV series,
Netflix has acquired the rights to hit NBC drama The Blacklist from Sony Pictures TV in a
deal that will net $2 million per episode. Season 1 of the series starring James Spader will
debut on the streaming service Sept 9. As for future seasons, Netflix usually makes them
available shortly after the season finales.Sony TV first tested the off-network market waters
for The Blacklist in March. While other streaming services, like Amazon and Hulu, do joint
syndication deals with cable networks, Netflix, which largely pioneered the series SVOD
business, insists on getting first dibs. Twentieth Television just recently sold New Girl to TBS
and MTV, more than an year after prior seasons of the Fox series landed at Netflix in a rich
deal, said to be worth $900,000 an episode. Like was the case with New Girl, I hear Sony
TV has the right to also sell The Blacklist in cable and broadcast syndication, with Netflix
getting an exclusive first window. The $2 million per-episode fee is said to be the biggest for
an off-network series paid by Netflix (or any others streaming company), eclipsing previous
record holder, AMC’s The Walking Dead, whose sale price to Netflix is believed to be $1.35
million per episode.
It is fitting that Sony TV is charting new territory in the broadcast space with the rich Blacklist deal.
The studio was an early Netflix adopter, making one of the early series deals with the streaming
service for its AMC drama Breaking Bad, which became one of the first Netflix mega hits and
helped usher in the era of binge viewing.The Breaking Bad prequel comedy Better Call Saul also
will stream on Netflix, and Sony TV also became one of the first major studios to produce an
original series for the streaming service with KZK.