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HBO stops providing discs to Netflix, customers to be unaffected

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HBO has stopped providing discs of its shows to Netflix, as of January 1, 2012.

Galaxy Nexus Netflix update
Galaxy Nexus Netflix update

CNET reports that HBO has stopped providing discs of its shows to Netflix, as of January 1, 2012. The move is said to be "largely symbolic," as Netflix still owns whichever discs it purchased previously and can still legally purchase future HBO discs from other parties and rent them to customers under the copyright doctrine of first sale. (Indeed, Netflix tell us it will continue to offer HBO DVDs and Blu-rays, although it's never had any HBO content on its streaming service.)

Still, there's no doubt that HBO now considers Netflix to be a serious threat to its own burgeoning streaming services — especially since Netflix will begin producing its own premium TV shows this year. We'd say the Great TV Wars of 2012 have just gotten started.