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Why has Line of Duty disappeared from Netflix?

The crime drama is no longer available on the streaming site

Line of Duty – Steve Arnott
Published: Monday, 6th April 2020 at 1:17 pm

Fans went into meltdown this weekend after realising that British crime drama Line of Duty had been taken off Netflix.


Up until this weekend, series one to four were available to watch on the streaming site, so why are they no longer available?

It seems the BBC drama has been removed due to Netflix terminating all licensing arrangements it has in place with Kew Media Distribution, which is responsible for Line of Duty.

Line of Duty, BBC Pictures
Line of Duty, BBC Pictures

It's believed Netflix has the rights to stream a number of Kew Media Distribution titles in various territories and made administrator FTI Consulting a financial offer to maintain these licences.

Netflix insisted that the majority of its payment to FTI be passed on to the producers of the titles in question, which, in the case of Line Of Duty, would have been ITV Studios-owned World Productions.

FTI is understood to have rejected these terms, leading to a break down in talks.

The police drama is a BBC original and was one of the British broadcaster’s biggest shows of 2019. Following its removal from Netflix, many viewers took to Twitter to express their disappointment.

Some had been in the middle of watching the tense crime drama, including voice actor Andrea Libman.

According to Deadline, Netflix is encouraging affected producers to get in touch directly to discuss the Kew Media Distribution issue. It has even set up a dedicated email address to handle inquiries, which is:

Although fans won't be able to watch the series on Netflix, all five series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Kew Media Distribution was part of Kew Media Group, which went bust in February after months of financial mismanagement.

A spokesman said: "The joint administrators, alongside their legal counsel, are in the process of considering all the distribution and licensing arrangements in place including between various producers and Kew.

"Any claims to termination or otherwise will be dealt with in accordance with the terms of the relevant distribution agreements. We appreciate the continued patience of producers and customers, as we continue to work through a complex situation with over 1,000 titles."


If you're looking for alternatives of what to watch on Netflix, check out our best Netflix TV series round-up.


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