Well, this is either good news about the show, or Netflix is tossing money at the wall to fend off Amazon. Netflix is on a tear with deals, first snapping up Blacklist for an absurd price, and now Fox’s Gotham.
Netflix is flush with cash, coming off another debt raise so the company could be looking to cement its content portfolio. Blacklist is a surefire hit for NBC, while Gotham hasn’t aired an episode yet. Obviously execs have seen the show, so it must mean we have a possible hit comic book-ish show?
Netflix is shelling out near the same price for Gotham as the company is for the Blacklist. That’s awfully risky, considering Fox’s track record with new shows. Especially ones that appeal outside the cookie-cutter sitcoms. Gotham is essentially Batman without Batman.
Obviously DC has a ton of movies coming out that will be hits, and it could be this maneuver by Netflix is to make sure those movies land on its service. Having Superman, Batman and Justice League movies is more than worth rolling the dice on Gotham.
Variety has more from the deal and the fact that WB is handing over rights to all territories, versus a country-by-country breakdown.
The pact is unusual not only because the series has yet to air an episode but because WB is granting Netflix multi-territory rights as opposed to the typical country-by-country dealmaking.
“In this era of new business models and expanding windows, this is an unprecedented deal for our company and our industry,” said Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, in a statement.
On the market, Netflix shares are reacting positively. The stock has pulled back some, but that’s mostly due to tech weakness and not the deal announcements. We will see how well the Gotham deal plays out by midseason. If Gotham is a hit, Netflix executives come away looking like prophets.