ABC and Warner Bros. Sign ‘Unprecedented Stacking Rights Deal’ — What It Means

Mar 17, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Stacking rights have become a hot topic in TV licensing negotiations as the consumption of online content rises, and Deadline.com reports that ABC and Warner Bros. TV have just inked what may be a landmark deal — and one the companies are calling an “unprecedented stacking rights deal.”

“The two-year pact will cover new WBTVG series launched during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 television broadcast seasons,” the story reports. “Under the terms, ABC will be able to offer all episodes, rather than the current practice of the ‘rolling five’ most recent 5 in-season episodes, of any Warner Bros. series launched in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons on a variety of video-on-demand platforms. Warner Bros. will have end-of-season SVOD rights and early syndication rights as well as day-after EST and early DVD rights.”

The report notes that WB has traditionally been protective as a strategy to preserve its show’s syndication value. “But in a changing world where traditional off-network broadcast/cable syndication is being replaced by digital windows on streaming platforms, the old rules no longer apply,” the report notes. “Especially as the networks favor more and more shows they own because they can control all digital rights, including stacking.”

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