Netflix execs contacted for comment, declined to respond. One source, however, insisted there was “no drama” here, what with Netflix having not participated in every single one of the semi-annual TV-show plugging bacchanal, since its debut at the event in January of 2013. Netflix’s first appearance at the days-long event was considered noteworthy, taken as a signal the streaming service was now wearing big-boy-pants.
Netflix’s presence has grown and, in the two most recent TCA gatherings, last July and in January of ’16, it held day-long sessions. And while some cable and even broadcast networks struggle to get the reporters and TV critics to show up for their Q&A’s at TCA, Netflix Q&A’s tend to be packed, what with streaming services being the new industry It Girl. This may explain why today’s news triggered hand-wringing among press participants. TCA members were encouraged o get in touch with Netflix reps to let them know how much they would be missed.
Some media members worried the Netflix move might signal the beginning of the end for TCA, joining the pantheon of reports about the beginning of the end for TCA, dating back at least two decades. Over those years, the tour has morphed from a gathering of television network executives and mainstream media, into a press orgy of show-runner speed-dating, competitive tweeting, and embargoed-news-release publishing.