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article imageNetflix set to fight battle against 'in-season binge-watching'

By Michael Thomas     Nov 1, 2013 in Entertainment
"Binge watching," defined as watching three more more TV episodes a day, is becoming increasingly common thanks to Netflix, Hulu and other services. Netflix is now going to battle with TV networks over a specific type of binge watching.
As it stands, Netflix users can binge-watch entire seasons of past TV. However, because of agreements with TV studios, Netflix can only show a maximum of five episodes of current TV seasons at a time, according to Quartz.
Networks are now aiming to allow all episodes of a current season to air on video-on-demand (VOD) services, online and on their mobile applications. These are called "in-season stacking rights," and would give networks an advantage over the ever-growing Netflix.
“That’s where the big fight is happening now,” said Marc Graboff, president of Core Media Group, at Variety's Entertainment & Technology Summit.
Netflix is threatening to pull back licensing fees (20-50 percent per stacked episode) for any show that is stacked by networks. The amount of money is staggering; according to Vulture, Netflix can pay up to $750,000 per episode in streaming fees.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, accused cable operators of "trying to marginalize Netflix" in a desperate bid to stay relevant.
Meanwhile, studios and networks are making threats of their own. Their argument for stacking rights is that consumers need an easy way to discover shows they've started late. Networks are suggesting that they won't pick up any shows for their lineups unless they given stacking rights for the series.
Whether there is a right and wrong side in this debate is unclear, but the battle is sure to intensify in the next little while.
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