In an effort to keep their brands relevant in a growingly dominant online streaming industry TV networks are lobbying Netflix to display more of their branding for the shows they supply to the service.
As is the case with the majority of programmes on Netflix, pre-roll promotion is a rarity as most shows begin right away unlike on cable and satellite where they are able to promote their platform with images of their logo before the action starts.
Walt Disney-owned ABC however negotiated with Netflix to have its branding promoted on its shows before opening scenes to ensure viewers were aware of the shows origins. This is the case with its popular drama “How to Get Away with Murder" which features a four-second glamour shot of star Viola Davis alongside an even bigger ABC logo as a snippet of the network’s theme music plays.
A Disney/ABC TV Group spokesman told the Wall Street Journal “Netflix is a valued distributor that now provides robust cross-promotional opportunities for our networks and our series. It’s a win-win for both sides".
Netflix has been known to refuse requests for any sort of promotional branding effort at the start of the show, even some network logos on the title card of shows have been banned.
The move has been a point of contention for many networks who are keen to make viewers aware of their offerings and where to go for fresh episodes and similar content which Netflix may not host.
John Landgraf, chief executive of 21st Century Fox ’s FX Networks unit told an industry luncheon last year "one of the things that bothers me about Netflix is they make darn sure when they make an original series like `Orange is the Black’ or `House of Cards’ that is identified with the phrase `A Netflix Original Series.’ They are equally staunch about totally stripping AMC off of `Mad Men’ or FX off of `Sons of Anarchy,’”
Signs of this behaviour are beginning to fade however as more shows, including those from FX, now include the original network's logo and ABC's agreement suggests that there is room for negotiation.