Netflix Has Dropped Stargate, Find Out How You Can Get It Back
Tonight at precisely midnight Netflix dropped Stargate SG-1 from Instant Watch. The move came almost without any warning. I was in the midst of finishing the final season when I noticed a little date in the upper right corner of my screen telling me the show would be dumped from Netflix on August 15th. That warning only appeared on the Netflix app installed on my iPad, and only a few hours before calendar actually flipped over to the 15th. Most people watching through other devices, or even those watching through their website, received no warning at all.
We should have seen this coming. About a month ago Netflix pulled the franchise’s spin-off show Stargate: Atlantis off their network. I was smack dab in the middle of season 3 when they yanked it, and despite repeated requests for information, the video mega-corp has not commented on whether or not they’ll bring it back.
Now they’ve done the same to SG-1 and if you want it back, you’re probably going to have to do something about it.
At issue is Stargate’s content license. Netflix doesn’t own the right to distribute any of the shows they send into your TV set, they only rent a license. The license they’re renting, in this case from MGM, has expired. They’ll have to pay MGM money to renew it, if they want their customers to have Stargate back. Since MGM is the entity standing in your way of viewing the show, you might think it a good idea to start contacting them and campaigning for Stargate’s return. It isn’t. Don’t call MGM.
If MGM thinks the show is in high-demand they’ll raise the rates they want to charge Netflix to rent it, making it even harder for Netflix to renew their contract. The fact that Netflix hasn’t renewed it yet tells you that they already don’t think it’s worth the money it would cost them. So if you want Stargate back on Netflix, your only option is to apply pressure to Netflix, letting them know that whatever price MGM is charging them is absolutely worth paying.
How do you do that? Simple. Stargate has been pulled off Netflix but both SG-1 and Atlantis are available on Amazon Prime. They charge a per-episode fee, which gets pricey, but for around $80 bucks a year you can subscribe to their Amazon Prime service and watch it for free.
Personally, I’d rather have it back on Netflix.
For me the abrupt un-availability of Stargate on Netflix means the end of a journey I started almost exactly six months ago, a few hours after the birth of my son on February 18th. After a rough delivery the doctors moved him to the Neonatal intensive care unit, where he’d have to be covered in wires and kept in a plastic box monitored by nurses.
His mother was still recovering had to stay in bed, so I followed our little guy into the NICU where there was a glorified bench the nurses told me I could sleep on. Determined that I wouldn’t let our boy spend his first days of life alone, I set up shop as close to him as possible and attempted to rest, but the NICU is no place for sleep. Eventually I gave up on shut-eye, pulled out my iPad, and decided it was about time I really watched Stargate SG-1. The show ran for ten seasons and I’d only ever really watched a handful of episodes. It was a gaping hole in my otherwise science fiction savvy brain, and I really needed something to do besides all the worrying.
For nearly a week I sat on that bench next to my son and Stargate SG-1 kept me sane while the doctors poked and prodded and I held our baby’s hand, whenever they let me get close enough to him. Once our boy got out of the hospital, I kept watching.
Here’s the thing about having a kid: they don’t sleep. That means spending a lot of time sitting up holding and rocking till the most ridiculous of late-night hours. Not much you can do in that position, reading a book is almost out of the question since your hands are so busy. That leaves TV. So I kept right on watching Stargate SG-1.
This week I’d planned to end my journey with the SG-1 team. After six months of watching all alone with my son in my arms during the darkest parts of the night, I was nearing the last episode of show’s tenth and final season. That’s when Netflix decided to yank it.
I was lucky. I saw the warning in time to rush though the final two episodes. I finished Season 10 episode 20 at precisely 12:13am. For those of you who will now never be able to see it… you’re missing something special. Season 10 episode 20 maybe the show’s very best. When it ended I couldn’t replay it, SG-1 had already been yanked from my Instant Queue. I finished at the last possible moment.