Now before anyone comments, YES, I am aware Seasons 11 (The Return) and 12 (The Gauntlet) are still available on Netflix and can be rented/purchased on The Gizmoplex for viewing. Along with DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Copies.
What I am asking is this: Similar to how Disney recently retained full use of The Defenders Saga (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Punisher, The Defenders) to then place those shows exclusively on Disney Plus, Could Shout Factory! and Alternaversal ever fully regain the Revival Seasons from Netflix and make them completely exclusive to The Gizmoplex? As well as give those seasons more of a presence in other areas like the Month-Themed Vault Picks/Synthia Selects, Turkey Day Marathons, and even the 24/7 MST3K Channel.
I may not know the full legal ins-and-outs of that particular deal with Netflix, but I’m curious to hear thoughts and/or answers.
The powers that be have said that they don’t want to take access away from any of the places (Pluto, Plex, etc) but to give more access. Although, I do like the idea of just getting all my MST3K in one place. However, I also do love the MST3K channel on my Visio WatchFree channel for when I’m cooking!
My impression is that if Netflix funds the show and it comes out under their brand name, it’s likely to stay with them in perpetuity. They wouldn’t let Joel reuse any assets from those seasons in the new show, so I’d be very surprised if they were willing to grant him exclusive rights to the shows themselves. Of course, once they collapse, all bets are off.
Netflix didn’t fund Season 11 (we did!) but, far as I know, they did for 12. So there may be a difference in the rights between them. All that said it ultimately comes down to what was in the contract(s) between MST3k & Netflix. Which I’m pretty sure no one that has actually read & understands them is likely to comment about them here…
I’d be quite surprised if they didn’t have dollars in the game as well, either directly or through resources and materials. The Kickstarter backing made the show look like a viable gamble to Netflix, but did those funds alone really pay for everything? I think if Alternaversal covered the costs themselves, they should have negotiated a contract retaining full rights. The fact that they couldn’t reuse the doorway sequence, for example, seems to indicate otherwise.
Netflix doesn’t tend to own most of the shows they call Netflix Originals. They pay for streaming exclusivity for like 5-7 years and at that point, those rights revert to the production studio. That’s what happened with the Marvel Disney shows and it’ll happen in several years to something like Sony’s Cobra Kai.
The reason the filmed elements from the Netflix seasons couldn’t be used seems to be because of this still active exclusivity window, not necessarily because they own any aspect of those episodes.
It’s much the same way like Comedy Central didn’t own the episodes made for them or SciFi those episodes. Once the contract ran out, all control of those episodes went back to who owned them to begin with.
And there’s other nitty gritty details like different windows (Originally Netflix episodes couldn’t be made available anywhere due to an absolute exclusivity window for a year or two, with the carve-out for the backers downloads) and then the DVD and Blu-ray came out at retail.