It’s always tragic when someone decides that they’re too good for an old friend. Oh sure, they value the time they spent with them, but they’ve got a bunch of new friends now, and these new friends are all produced in-house, so they don’t have to pay anyone for the rights to hang out with them. As usual, we lost track of the metaphor there a little bit, but the point is that Netflix has decided to allow its contract with premium cable network Epix to expire, which will result in a bunch of relatively recent big-name films leaving the streaming service.
Netflix and Epix originally got together in 2010 as a way to promote the Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM films that Epix had the rights to, in a deal that also gave Netflix’s streaming service a big boost of recognizable content. However, like with a lot of relationships, the problem between Netflix and Epix seems to have come from exclusivity. Netflix wanted it to be just the two of them, like it was in the old days, but Epix couldn’t be held down. It wanted to spread its wings, and thus, a lot of the movies that Epix put on Netflix—like The Hunger Games and Transformers movies—are not only available on other streaming services, they’re also on TV all the time. And, in case it still wasn’t clear, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos wrote a blog announcing the change that specifically highlights all of the exclusive content coming to Netflix in the next few months (Beasts Of No Nation, the Crouching Tiger sequel, the Sofia Coppola/Bill Murray Christmas special, and those Adam Sandler movies we’re all annoyed by already).
Epix has learned its lesson from all of this, though. It’s not going to fall in love with another jerk who will use it for years and then dump it when The Hunger Games isn’t cool anymore. Instead, it’s moving in with Hulu, which has already signed a deal to pick up all the movies that Epix was streaming on Netflix. The old deal with Netflix will expire at the end of September, and the new deal with Hulu will start on October 1, but this isn’t just a silly rebound thing. Hulu really cares about Epix, and it won’t abandon it like Netflix did.