Scuttling its initial plan to kick off the TCA winter press tour on Jan. 5 with a full day of panels, Netflix has opted to skip the tour altogether.
A company spokesperson and a TCA official both chalked it up to the inevitable ebb and flow of programmers' schedules during a hectic time for the TV business. The month's events include CES (Jan. 5-8); the Golden Globes (Jan. 8), NATPE (Jan. 17-19); the TV-enhanced Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 19-29) and the presidential inauguration (Jan. 20).
TCA is set to run Jan. 5-18. Amazon, Crackle and British programming SVOD service Acorn have taken opening-day slots.
While some may not bat an eye at the mercurial company's withdrawal, Netflix has been a pacesetter during TCA and in TV industry dealmaking in general lately, so its absence in Pasadena will be noted. For the past several semi-annual tours, chief content officer Ted Sarandos would draw a swarm of media during his executive sessions, and Netflix has no shortage of upcoming shows to promote, including The Crown and Marvel's The Defenders. Sarandos has also used the platform to fire back at skeptics and industry peers, who have bemoaned the SVOD service's vast war chest and unique economic model, which they argue exerts less pressure on execs to post near-term profits and does not require them to release viewership data.