Alyssa Thorne
May 03, 2017 12:53 pm

Next up on “what is the world coming to?” soon you maybe able to watch House of Cards without a Netflix subscription.

It’s a super interesting thought, and a little weird. Here’s the gist: Sony Television has been approaching cable and broadcast networks to see what their interest might be an acquiring the show for reruns, as early as later this year. It’s a little confusing as a concept, honestly. Syndication of our fav shows is often welcome news — usually it means you can catch, like, classic sitcoms when you’re home sick where they otherwise would be rather difficult to find. But since it’s not like House of Cards will cease to be on Netflix while it’s also being played elsewhere, we’re a little like… “yes… and?”

That said, we’re not exactly going to turn down the chance to catch House of Cards on normal television channels when we’re feeling too lazy to rig up whatever device we use Netflix on and just surfing channels. But the reason why this is happening with House of Cards — but likely won’t happen for other Netflix originals — is pretty straightforward and is basically the reason why anything weird happens with digital streaming shows.

House of Cards was amongst Netflix’s first push into original content. So they hadn’t yet formed a model of what they wanted their deals to look like, and so (like most digital channels) were pretty lax about the distribution rights.

Basically, Sony and Media Rights Capital maintained international and, it seems, syndication rights of the show. That’s why, if you’re not American, you may not have been able to see House of Cards on Netflix — because the rights were sold to other channels if other international networks offered better deals.

The other important thing to note is that Orange is the New Black syndication rights were also maintained by Lionsgate, rather than Netflix, so there could be broadcast versions of that floating around, too. We kinda feel like, the more the merrier.

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