Update: As of April 4th, Torchwood: Miracle Day disappeared again. I’m in the middle of investigating what happened. Soon as I have some news on this, I will post more.
Update (April 9th, 2012): It’s definitely gone for the time being. However, Netflix is pursuing adding back Torchwood: Miracle Day at a future date. If you can’t wait, you have a few options: Purchase the Blu-ray at Amazon. You can also subscribe to Starz for one month and watch it via Starz On-line or On-Demand.
If you blinked, you would have missed it. Torchwood: Miracle Day is no longer available on Netflix streaming. To Netflix customers, it was a surprise since the series only became available less than two months ago. While the short appearance may not have been something the Torchwood team would investigate, it was a mystery made for Tech of the Hub.
Actually, it wasn’t much of a mystery. According to official Netflix sources, Miracle Day is now “out of window” and was not affected by the fact that the current content agreement with Starz is about to expire in February 2012. In another words, Netflix no longer has rights to stream it and has to negotiate new licensing for it to reappear. Unlike the situation where a number of Sony films suddenly disappeared from Netflix this past summer (a cap on the number of times the films could be viewed), the short availability window was already defined by contract. This is confirmed by the fact that weeks ago Netflix had flagged Miracle Day as not being available as of November 25th (however, there’s less consumer visibility on expiring titles). The only ways to see Miracle Day now are through Starz on-demand or via Blu-ray from Amazon (it’s a UK import that may not work on some US TVs/Blu-ray players).
The good news is that the first three Torchwood seasons are still available on Netflix (and Amazon Prime Video) as they are sourced from the BBC. Starz controls the US distribution rights for Torchwood: Miracle Day (series 4). Starz walked away from the negotiating table when Netflix refused to charge an additional premium for their content. Given this, I would not expect to see Torchwood: Miracle Day back on Netflix anytime soon. There are currently just under 1,000 titles in the Netflix catalog from Starz. A number of those titles are recent releases such as Tron: Legacy and Tangled. While Reed Hastings has stated that Starz content only makes up a small portion of the Netflix catalog, we haven’t seen any comparably-sized content deal yet to replace it. Hopefully, whatever replaces it will be available in HD as all of the Starz movies are in standard definition and not worthy of today’s home theater.
|Captain Jack has disappeared once again|