Netflix Buys Rights to Air Documentary on Egyptian Protests

technology, netflix, cairo, Egyptian protests, documentary

Netflix has witnessed how the Cairo’s Tahrir Square protests  held the globe with morbid fascination as millions around the world turn to news channels for updates. Tired of strife, corruption and autocratic governments, tens of thousands have descended on the square to show support or opposition. These two opposites meeting have lead to deadly clashes and a rise of speaking up against government bodies that have echoed to the United States. Now, it is being reported it will be Netflix who will obtain the first-run rights to air a documentary surrounding the Egyptian protests.

Big Move for Netflix

Netflix acquiring the first-run rights of the documentary tracing the protests from 2011 is a huge move for the streaming giant. The exclusive will be called The Square and speculation is hitting within the industry the documentary will be slated for awards at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, potentially leading to an Oscar nod.  Netflix had previously aimed to develop a documentary specialty-aimed list but the project did not develop fully and was ceased in 2008.

With Netflix delving headfirst into buying the rights for this controversial documentary, the company will be offering a different slant to its offerings. Netflix already shows documentaries on their streaming selection such as Discover Channel’s line-up, but it seems the company is looking to grow beyond purchasing rights from other channels. With the documentary scheduled for 2014 detailing Egypt’s protests, this can launch a big move for Netflix. Reportedly, the documentary will receive test runs in smaller movie theaters in New York and LA.

Will The Square drive Netflix to create original documentaries?
Will The Square drive Netflix to create original documentaries?

Netflix Successes

House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have been viewing champions for Netflix original series specials. As of this month, Netflix touts a customer base of 40 million strong, with a revenue jump of over 22 percent. Netflix is more appealing than cable and millions of cable subscribers, frustrated with choice and cost have canceled their subscriptions to enjoy the freedom of selection.

It doesn’t hurt Netflix they also carry popular series specials like The Walking Dead, Scandal, Breaking Bad, Deadliest Catch and dozens more – Netflix is becoming a leader for television and movie selections. Considering the streaming cost is only $7.99 monthly, customers can still select additional channels like HuluPlus, Amazon, Target Ticket and see incredible savings over cable.

With the The Square slated for release, Netflix is hinting it could be the first of a long line of original documentaries by the stream-king. If Netflix focuses on quality as they have for their fictional series’, their documentaries will just continue to raise the customer base and stock for the company. It speaks highly when Netflix sees only one competitor to overcome; that would be HBO. Although, many fans would be thrilled if these two giants could play nice and air shows on Netflix such as favorites True Blood and Boardwalk Empire.

Netflix wants to grow beyond the 3 Emmy's received for fan favorite original: House of Cards
Netflix wants to grow beyond the 3 Emmy’s received for fan favorite original: House of Cards

The Future of Netflix

Netflix is already sitting on three Emmy’s due to the stunning success of House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey. Now it seems Netflix is looking to acquire Oscar gold with the first-run documentary called The Square. The documentary is rumored to discuss the Egyptian protests that began in 2011 to present day. They want to relay the gritty need, the cry of its citizens to the world; a documentary that will truly mark a name for the country and for Netflix. The streaming giant is looking forward to growing its portfolio and encompassing customer base. Will viewers look forward to the newest documentary line-up Netflix is soon to release? Comment below.


Written by Angelina Bouc

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