How to find my show on Netflix?
January 4, 2012 10:45 PM   Subscribe

Netflix shows disappear?

Why do some shows disappear off Netflix? I'm in Canada and I watched two episodes of Portlandia and now it's gone. Search and browse comes up with nothing. What gives?
posted by grak88 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
As original contracts expire, Netflix loses the right to distribute. Many of these contracts are years old, and the content owners at the time did not understand how big online distribution would get. Consequently, they are holding out for more money.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:47 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, streaming contracts are often time-limited, and can be pulled if/when a show appears on DVD, goes on repeat on a cable network, or just because the rights owner feels like it.

Netflix exists in two legal and commercial realms: the rental of physical DVDs is protected by the doctrine of first sale; streaming rights are perpetually subject to renegotiation.
posted by holgate at 11:05 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Movies and TV shows are available for streaming, and then suddenly are not available, and then suddenly become available again. This happened with The Big Lebowski over the course of the past few months.

I usually add stuff to my queue via, and that tells you how long the particular tv/movie will be available - though I couldn't locate Portlandia on instantwatcher just now.

I was able to add Portlandia to my Netflix queue here in the states, so it might be a Canadian rights issue with that particular program.
posted by that possible maker of pork sausages at 11:15 PM on January 4, 2012

t.p.m.o.p.s. In Canada, we don't even have a queue! It has been posited that the appearing/disappearing content is one reason for that: there's no way to keep track of what was there yesterday. Unless you're like me and make ridiculous paper lists.
posted by looli at 12:18 AM on January 5, 2012

Thanks for asking this question... I was fairly sure that the answer was "yes", but I've wondered this myself.
posted by teatime at 2:41 AM on January 5, 2012

Portlandia just started streaming so I do not think it is gone yet.

Shows *always* dissapear from my instant queue, even individual episodes of things like Deep Space nine go missing from my queue. netflix software sucks,

I can still stream portlandia but can't find the show in search, this makes me think certain parts of the Netflix API is broken right now.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:50 AM on January 5, 2012

Netflix Canada has quite odd local quirks and content variations. Portlandia isn't available for me at all in Toronto. Might be something to do with the Rogers On Demand exclusive content deals that mean that T.O. Netflix subscribers get a much worse selection than everywhere else.
posted by scruss at 3:51 AM on January 5, 2012

Portlandia was on Netflix but vanished as the poster suggests. (You can see what has been added by subscribing to this site). I have no idea what happened to it but wanted to confirm that it WAS there but is now unavailable, and I'm not in Toronto. It wasn't a Rogers On-Demand thing.
posted by synecdoche at 5:06 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Alas, Portlandia was added to the Canadian Netflix in error.
posted by betafilter at 5:34 AM on January 5, 2012

The 15th and the 1st of the month seem to be prime time for series to wink in and out on Netflix. I was halfway through Ken Burns' Jazz when it disappeared on the 15th of November, then it popped back in on December 1st right where I left off.
posted by ChuqD at 8:56 AM on January 5, 2012

I use Netflix Canada on the PS3, and usually when you select an item and it is expiring soon there will be a box on the description letting you know. Portlandia and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret went up and down within a week with no warning. Luckily I saw them via synecdoche's link and watched all of both except the final episode of Portlandia before they vanished without a word, thanks betafilter for the explanation!
posted by yellowbinder at 9:11 AM on January 5, 2012

Portlandia and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret went up and down within a week with no warning.

This. I managed to watch the latter in one day (it was great, btw), and it's still in my Recently Watched, but unplayable.

I think maybe they were made available by mistake.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:34 PM on January 5, 2012

(Or, uh, what betafilter said.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:35 PM on January 5, 2012

I can only find season 1 on streaming right now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:40 PM on January 5, 2012

I watched the first two episodes of Portlandia a week or two ago in the US and it's gone here as well.
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:28 AM on January 6, 2012

Portlandia is back on my Roku! Weird.
posted by dgeiser13 at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2012

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