Attention! Attention! If you’re upset about M*A*S*H being removed from Netflix’s streaming service, please contact Netflix directly. See this post.
April 1st, 2016 Update:
It’s confirmed. M*A*S*H has been removed from Netflix’s streaming service in the United States and potentially other countries as well.
March 21st, 2016 Update:
I chatted again with Netflix customer support this afternoon and asked if there was any update on the M*A*S*H situation. Here’s what I was told:
I don’t see anything official on extending that license, but I went ahead and put in a request to do so on your behalf. I know it’s a huge fan favorite, and there are a lot of folks who’d like to keep watching it 🙂
Unless something changes in the next 10 days, it looks like M*A*S*H will be leaving Netflix streaming as of April 1st.
I’ve received a few e-mails from M*A*S*H fans concerned because they’ve read the series is leaving Netflix. Recall that the first five seasons were added to Netflix’s streaming service on February 1st, 2015 while seasons 6-11 were added on April 1st. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” wasn’t made available until July 1st.
Anyway, as of yesterday Netflix users started seeing a notice pop up informing them that M*A*S*H won’t be available after April 1st. I saw the notice myself a few minutes ago when I started watching an episode through my TV. I haven’t seen it while watching on my computer. It only appeared once and I don’t remember exactly how it was worded. I do not know whether this impacts Netflix users outside the United States.
A quick search of Twitter reveals a few dozen tweets about M*A*S*H leaving Netflix dating, the earliest coming yesterday morning. There are also one or two comments at the Netflix Facebook page. There has been no response from Netflix as far as I can tell but that’s probably normal. I doubt Netflix has the time to respond to every complaint about a TV show or movie being removed from its streaming service.
I just finished chatting with a friendly Netflix customer support representative named Madison. I asked whether or not M*A*S*H was leaving. Here’s what Madison told me:
Okay I have good and bad news for you my friend. It looks like it is scheduled to be removed on 4/01/2016 the reason for this is because our legal contracts will expire on that date and as of right now we haven’t been able to renew them.
The good news is that we are still working to get new permissions for it so I am going to reach out to the content team and let them know we really don’t want to see it go. There is a possibility we will be able to renew and leave it on Netflix for everyone to enjoy.
Madison also let me know that Netflix owns the rights to M*A*S*H on DVD in perpetuity, so anyone who still has a Netflix DVD account doesn’t have to worry about losing access to the series on DVD. Before the request was sent to the content team, I was asked if there were any other titles I’d like to see added to Netflix. I suggested AfterMASH.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much we as fans can do to influence the contract negotiations between Netflix and 20th Century Fox. If you’re a Netflix user and you want to support M*A*S*H, I would suggest contacting Netflix via Twitter, Facebook, or its website to let the company know you want M*A*S*H to remain available for streaming. The more demand for the series, the more effort (and money) Netflix may be willing to put into extending the contract with 20th Century Fox.
Remember to be polite because Netflix isn’t to blame here. Hopefully, 20th Century Fox and Netflix will come to an agreement before April 1st and M*A*S*H won’t go anywhere. It’s happened before with other TV shows.