I suspected Reed Hastings would eventually move this direction, since they have cash and influence to negotiate decent deals with content distributors..so why not spend some to produce as well, and eliminate some more 'middlemen'. BBC and some small English production companies manage to crank out excellent quality programming (see House of Cards, mentioned in this story! Excellent show!) without all the studio layers and lawyers, promo-hype and advertising constraints, so it seems a natural transition for Netflix to consider testing the concept on their service too! "The entertainment-biz press, led by a report in Deadline.com, has the news this morning that Netflix may be about to acquire a high-profile original dramapolitical thriller House of Cards from David Fincher and Kevin Spaceyby outbidding the likes of HBO. Does this mean, if the deal pans out, that Netflix wants to become a TV network? Actually, it could mean something bigger: the beginning, albeit the very beginning, of a much-theorized about move to a business model in which TV networks are optional. Why do you watch TV networks at all? You don't go to the movie listings and say, "Gee, I wonder what Paramount has showing this week!"you just look for a movie. The reason for TV's configuration was, first, technical and practical. A network controlled the means of distribution: it had the hardware and the system of affiliates that were necessary to literally beam a program from a tape somewhere into your living room...... ......Right now, if you're selling a show, you have to be very conscious of its fit with a particular network's brand: is it an NBC show? CBS? Showtime? TNT? You'll recall that when Lone Star flamed out, there was a lot of talk that it was a bad fit for network TV, but it was hard to figure what cable network it would have been good for: it probably was not aggro enough for FX, it seemed a little too conventional for HBO, etc. Once entities like Netflix can acquire programswithout having to be "programmers"that dynamic could melt away. You no longer have to fit a show to a channel, you just have to fit it to an audience. Of course, all this is preliminary: the deal may not come off, or, as The Wall Street Journal theorizes, this could just be a play by Netflix for leverage with TV networks. But as more and more non-TV-channel entities get a direct pipeline onto your screensbe it Netflix or Hulu or Facebook or Amazonthere may be more channels for getting around making deals with channels. Read more Here on Time's Entertainment Blog 'Tuned In'