Netflix Family TV -- Next Up: Sports? Reality TV? Afternoon Talk?

Netflix is pushing into more family-oriented TV. But this is nothing new. The real news will be when Netflix goes broader. Think reality TV programming, afternoon talk, or airing live major sports franchises.

Netflix has actually been family-friendly ever since it started taking in kids’ TV shows many years ago -- stuff from Viacom’s Nickelodeon and others. (These were TV deals, that for many, contributed to Nickelodeon’s viewership declines a few years ago).

Netflix plans a half-dozen family shows overall. Its first will be“Fuller House,” an updated version of the ABC family show, “Full House,” which ran from 1987 to 1995. Netflix will also be doing more episodes of the CW show, “Gilmore Girls,” which ended 2007 after a seven-year run.

Many have been making Netflix comparisons to HBO, with the consumer perception that the two TV companies push the envelope for original TV series -- especially with adult-themed content. For Netflix, that comes with the likes of “Orange is the New Black,” “Making a Murderer” and “House of Cards.”



For those who have criticized HBO for years about not being family entertainment, Netflix now looks to defy many perceptions of what a “premium” TV network is about -- especially one that doesn’t take advertising.  (It should be noted HBO recently started running new episodes of “Sesame Street.”)

Premium networks like their creative freedoms. If they don’t have to please major TV marketers, they don’t have to -- in theory --  worry about the language or the racy content that advertisers nix.

For decades, big TV consumer marketers fretted about their image with consumers -- through their support of specific TV shows.  Times have changed. So is this still valid?

For Netflix’s part, its consumer perception might change, as it’s perhaps trying to be the new version of TV for its 43 million U.S. subscribers (and growing). Perhaps it wants to be be-everything-to-everyone, similar to what Facebook wants to be in the digital media world.

Maybe family-oriented shows on Netflix will take on a new spin -- complete with a new kind of family-friendly language and storylines. What will TV marketers think about that?

1 comment about "Netflix Family TV -- Next Up: Sports? Reality TV? Afternoon Talk?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 29, 2016 at 2:58 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see if Netflix decides to really step in with "family" shows as well as other conventional TV fare---sports, talk shows, realty shows and--- why not?---news. If it goes in this direction in a big way it will encounter many, many problems in differentiating its service from regular TV and, in the case of sports, may have to go even deeper in debt---like in the tens of $billions---unless it finds a way to double its subscriber base to get to around 75% coverage and can, somehow generate the huge incomes that the pro leagues require without selling ads. Or, Netflix might opt for sports like bowling, Lacross, free-style wrestling and vollyball, where the risk---and rewards---are more of a trade-off.

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