20 Geeky TV Shows, None Of Them Available On Netflix Australia

Don't chuck your VPN away just yet: Netflix's Australian library has some serious content problems when it comes to geeky TV shows.

This morning I decided to do a little test to see what Netflix had in Australia compared to what the service offers to stream for its US customers. What I found was pretty gobsmacking.

At random, I chose 20 TV shows that resonate with Gizmodo Australia readers. Everything from The X-Files to Archer right through to Hawaii Five-0 and Xena: Warrior Princess were thrown on the list.

I collated how many seasons were available in the US, thinking that while Netflix's Australian library might have a few of the shows in question, the number of episodes on offer could differ.


As it turns out, of the 20 shows I chose at random, not one of them is on the Netflix Australian library. Here's the list:

Show US Netflix availability AU Netflix availability
Parks And Recreation 6 seasons Not available
The Office US 9 seasons Not available
Bob's Burgers 3 seasons Not available
Archer 5 seasons Not available
Family Guy 12 seasons Not available
30 Rock 7 seasons Not available
Dexter 8 seasons Not available
Weeds 8 seasons Not available
Portlandia 4 seasons Not available
The Following 2 seasons Not available
The X-Files 9 seasons Not available
Cosmos 1 season Not available
Hawaii Five-0 4 seasons Not available
Revolution 2 seasons Not available
Dollhouse 2 seasons Not available
The 4400 4 seasons Not available
Alphas 2 seasons Not available
Sliders 5 seasons Not available
Xena: Warrior Princess 6 seasons Not available
Caprica 1 season Not available

Thankfully, these titles are just a switch away with a browser-based VPN like Hola.

This isn't to say Netflix's Australian offering is bad. It's just missing a few geeky shows you might like. It's still great for movies and even has some stuff the US library doesn't have like Stargate: Atlantis, for example. Netflix offers a 30-day free trial for you to check out the library without paying a cent, so you've got nothing to lose by checking it out.

Our friends over at Lifehacker have taken a look at the movies on offer for Netflix's Aussie users, and the situation is about as bleak.



    Aw man. Oh well, I'm still pretty happy with what's available at the price it's available at. (And I have means of acquiring the others...) 

    And TV\Movie executives wonder why people pirate.
    Limit peoples access or make them jump through hoops to see what they want see and they will look elsewhere.

      The morons are the people who try to justify piracy.

        He's not trying to justify it. He's not somehow trying to make it sound right. He's just explaining why some people choose to pirate.

          I wasn't referring to him, instead, the very people he is referring to, there is zero excuses to pirate. I have no idea where this sense of entitlement came from, but it's rife.

            The entitlement comes from raw human nature. Following 'rules' is not our natural state.

              I challenge the premise.
              I LAN a LOT and meet very few pirates who claim that they are 'entitled' to pirate.
              In fact the hardouts enjoy it specifically because they are NOT entitled to pirate.
              I submit that knockstock's claim that pirates feel 'entitled', is arse.

            I know these companies have already made millions off most of these shows, the actors and crew have long since received their paychecks, the shareholders reimbursed for their investments. Obviously charging for a product is how the world works but a) make it available in our region, b) make it affordable or expect people to find a workaround ....

            dude, I used to download all music for the pure connivence... Every since spotify came out a couple of years ago I haven't downloaded a single song illegally.
            I have signed up for Netflix today but it doesn't seem like it's going to be the answer to privacy.. in fact, Australia is going to keep on pirating until a solution is available.

            I have no idea why so many people voted your comments down. But FWIW I agree 100%.

        He's explaining the concept of supply/demand/purchase

        Apple builds all its phones in solid gold.. doesn't matter that its a 5000% markup for them they will go poor. no one wants it at that price.

        Apple builds an expensive phone with a massive profit margin, Chinese build the same thing for the same price and sell it for 300 instead of 600

        Movie cinemas steal songs from songwriters and dont pay license fees.. they dont care.. then bitch about piracy

        its all linked my friend..

        I pirate every episode of game of thrones when it comes out and buy the bluray the week of release.

        I find it pathectic in the year 2015 Australian distributers havent figured out a better way to sell their media other than physical copies

        Seriously, I can pay for a whole foxtel subscription, which I wont use (other than to wath GoT) and be stuck watching it in SD or buy it from iTunes (and not actually own it, as per their terms of service). And all of this comes with a 100%+ mark up over american pricing

        I make payment for the goods I use, when I'm offered a fair deal, so I don't feel guilty for ripping off distributers who are trying to rip me off. GST is 10%, anything more is unfairly overcharging Australians.

        I hear what you're saying. I just don't like the way you say it.

      Some of those shows are on Stan. Others on Presto.

      Same as in the US, shows not on Netflix are on Amazon Prime, or another streaming service.

      Not making people jump through hoops. Decide the shows you want to watch, then subscribe to the services that have them.

        This is just as stupid as the FTA v Foxtel debate here.

        Why should the consumer be forced to sign up to Netflix, Stan, Presto, Amazon Prime AND any other streaming services just so they can view all the media they want?
        The media companies do realise that all of these shows are available in one spot for those who choose to pirate.

        You're not fighting a war against criminal intent, you're fighting a war against convenience and quite frankly Netflix & Co are losing.

          Are you suggesting one company makes everything available for $10 a month? How exactly would the content creaters make money?

            I don't think anyone was saying making everything available for only $10 a month. I'm quite sure many people would pay more for a guaranteed plethora of content, and if that's a guarantee a company could make, then you can be damned sure that's where people will flock.

            I'll take this one

            7.2 billion people x $10 = 72 billion a year
            All centrally hosted similar to a DFS share on a computer network.
            that way cinema companies have a constant stream of funds and dont have to pay backers.. Then they have more profit..

            the amount of times their shows are watched would give them a certain amount of money similar to youtube..

            seems easy enough.

              haha... and you think that the 94 million people in Ethiopia can afford $10 a month to watch shows from america that they can't understand because they can't speak english, or better yet, don't have tv's?

              And I'm sure they care more about streaming old episodes of 'how i met your mother' rather than eating anyway.

              Last edited 25/03/15 11:52 am

                You think they are all poor.. This is not true..
                My point illustrates that with a simple monthly funding they can make more in a month (i used an extreme example) than their movies make ever!

                drop it to 1.1 billion and times it by 10. Thats still 10 billion x 12 = 120 billion
                drop it to 500 million
                500 million x 10 = 5 billion. Times that by 12 you have 60 billion a year

                Do you think 500 million is a better example genius?

          Netflix has a market cap of $26bn, an ROE of 17% and pulled in $6bn in revenue last year.

          Doesn't sound like a company that is 'losing'.

          Competition is needed so we don't end up with monopoly's like what Murdoch has created in Australia. If you want a monopoly that shows all of these shows and movies then I suggest give Foxtel a call.

            I think some people here are conflating availability with exclusivity. Nobody is suggesting that one monolithic provider stocks all content exclusively, as far as I can tell most people are suggesting that content be available across all providers.

            Exclusivity is anti-competitive. It specifically removes the ability of others to compete by having an exclusive provider of a particular product. Real competition would be the same TV series being available on Stan, Foxtel, Netflix and so on, with each service competing on quality of service, price and other features aside from availability.

            Think video rental stores (ancient, I know) - you didn't walk into Blockbuster to be told "sorry, X-Files is a Video Ezy exclusive, we don't carry it". Companies carried mostly the same content (availability), they competed in other areas. That is what I believe people want out of what are essentially online versions of video rental stores.

              It still follows more of a TV model where a network buys the rights to air programs, movies etc. rather than a video store or whatever.

              Really it needs to come down to the studio's/digital distributors offering content to all providers. A provider then decides what to include in their library and then what to charge for it. That would be a truer representation of what you're saying.

              At the moment its like a traditional tv service like Foxtel, except you can stream things on demand instead of it being programmed for set times. Hopefully this sort of thing may change in future. Might not...

                I don't think the comparison to a video rental store is unreasonable. Netflix began as a mail-order DVD rental service, after all, starting with a business model of per-rental charges and then shifting to a flat subscription fee. On-demand streaming wasn't introduced until much later. The company has a different financial model to traditional video rental stores, but with respect to the service they offer and the way they go about offering it, their on-demand business is very much a digital version of their physical business, which has always been video rental.

      I can't see anything on that list you couldn't go into JB Hi-Fi and buy on DVD or Blu-Ray, so how exactly are we restricted restricted? What you really meant to say was "and TV/movie executives wonder why people use every tiny excuse they can think of, no matter how petty or illogical, to steal content."

        Your comparison isn't valid. Services like Netflix aren't comparable to retail stores, they're comparable to video rental stores. In the online rental space, these services have exclusive deals that mean you can only rent the content if you rent it through one company.

        In terms of video rental stores, if you want to rent a Predator DVD, you should be able to do so from your rental store of choice, you shouldn't be forced to go to a specific store and sign up for a membership with them simply because they negotiated an exclusive deal for the movie. That's what people mean when they say 'limited'.

          Not really. In terms of movies you can still do that with Google Play and iTunes (and TV shows were always pretty sparse in rental places, anyway) but Netflix, etc., are really their own thing.

          The DVDs used to cost ~$3 each a week to rent, for old releases. So you'd only be able to rent 3-8, including vouchers and similar stuff, before you started costing more than these services. And they last a month. So, it shouldn't really be surprising that production companies aren't super into the idea of putting their cash cows on the services, or bargaining for the best deals.

          That said, I'm not saying it doesn't suck that these shows aren't available or stuck on different services but people should definitely still check 'em out because they are a pretty damn good deal. (And I'm not going to judge you if you still want to pirate. I don't think the movie industry's going to collapse any time soon)

            I mentioned above, but Netflix started as a mail-order DVD rental service and had a flat subscription fee model before their on-demand streaming service began. They just happen to be a video rental store that uses a subscription instead of per-video payment, and their streaming service reflects that.

          I am unaware of any such deal EVER having been done in the rental space. Video-Ezy, Blockbuster and Civic all carry exactly the same titles, don't they?

            Precisely my point. Netflix is another video rental service, the only difference is it has an online presence. In terms of people's expectations of availability it should be compared with rental stores, not retail stores.

        videos used to be $29.95 each
        they took huge amounts of time to create, transport, distribute
        Then dvd's same price.. took less efford to distribute, could fit more
        Then internet.. no distribution, shipping just content creation

        Its all about how they can hold on to a system that makes us pay what they want.. not what its worth. Like the fine for stealing 200k from a bank (true story) know a guy who did it.. wrote himself a loan and got it all approved then moved the funds..

        he got 2 years in prison didnt have to repay the cash

        where as 20 songs is apparently worth 675k (28 days later would be made more than 11 times with this budget)

          $200k for 2 years in jail, and becoming an ex-con.
          Doesn't sound remotely worth it to me...

            now compare that to other risks you take in your life.. going through an orange arrow = death of handicapped. Skydive = death or handicapped

            and the chances of being caught are pretty low.

              I'm sorry I completely miss your point, perhaps you can rephrase it?

                "$200k for 2 years in jail, and becoming an ex-con.
                Doesn't sound remotely worth it to me..."

                If we are comparing risks and worth then things like driving, flying, crossing the road all have higher chances of occurring with most likely higher consequences.

                So the risk and chances to pirate versus almost every other aspect of your life is a smaller risk. So i assume you still do all these other things?

                  But there was no risk, he *knew* he would be convicted and do jail time...

                  In any case, I didn't mention piracy, but I agree that a simple risk-benefit analysis would inevitably resolve in favor of cautious piracy.

        BS. I don't want to be swapping DVDs, praying that the disk hasn't been scratched. It's inconvenient and a pain in the ass.

        I do buy the DVDs and BluRays as collectors items. They are, for the most part, still in their plastic packaging.

        And before you go all "lazy blah blah blah". I'm the customer. They wan't my money. They don't get to tell me how I view their product after I buy it. If we let that happen, how long until they make is so you won't be able to watch MI:53 on a Samsung TV or DVD player? Or tell you that if you wan't to listen to the new Elvis song, you can only do it with Beats headphones?

        EDIT: Read another post of yours. $4/hour in data cost to stream? No wonder you're a DVDinosaur.

        Last edited 24/03/15 8:08 pm

      $30 a month for all 3... no content limit then.

      Seems like a very reasonable price for what you're getting. Considering how much anything in life costs these days (take-away food, going-out, drinks) hard to justify saying that's expensive.

        But isn't convenience the major selling point of these services? I would rather pay $50 a month for all the content to be available on Netflix rather than having to sign up and use 3 different services that all work in different ways (ie, some do not offer HD content, do not have apps available for all devices, and ISPs do not support unmetered streaming). People have been comparing to rental stores and it's the same thing here... say I wanted to watch the LOTR trilogy, but different stores had exclusive rights to each part. I don't want to be driving around to 3 different stores and singing up for their membership in order to watch the films. It's just not convenient.

    We've been watching The 100 on US netflix, it's not on the AU version

      That would be due to foxtel having the rights

        ah, I was wondering if that was the case since Stan didn't have The 100.

          The 100 is on Presto

            Yeah but Presto is in SD and doesn't work on my phone so I can't easily cast it chromecast....

      That turned out to be quite a good show. Surprised me, read like it was going to be very dramatised.

    Any word on Z-Nation's availability on AU Netflix? Is season 2 going to be run first on there?

      I wouldn't hold my breath on that as season 1 has just started its run on SyFy on Foxtel so it's likely that the rights are also tied down with foxtel for now. (only my guess)

    Pretty sure I saw Firefly on the list of available shows. No idea why it's not on your list.

    Yeah just signed for a trial don't even think I will bother keeping it for a month.

      If range is the reason you would cancel, consider checking the service out again in 6 months. Several statements from Netflix have promised that they plan to work to increase the range available in Australia on an ongoing basis. In a few months time, things might be looking a lot better.

    30 Rock ???

    I really dont understand people. Of course the catalogue isn't going to be the same as the US, its all about the content rights. I dont see the likes of UP, Monsters Inc or Wall-E on the US Netflix, but here they are on the AU catalogue.
    Remember people, its all about the content rights and more of it will be coming to the Aussie version as it grows. Its day one for peets sake....

    Last edited 24/03/15 9:42 am

      I can buy a US netflix account and use a vpn that is probably illegall, and watch the 20 shows, or i can buy an OZ netflix account, and not watch the 20 shouws, hmmm decisions, decisions

        Connecting via VPN isn't illegal (unless by a very creative interpretation of 'unauthorised computer access'), it's just against Netflix's terms of service.

        no need to get a US netflix account, you can use you AU netflix account and a VPN to get the USA netflix library

      Yeah I get the sense (browsing through it last night) that there's better movies on AU Netflix, the US Netflix is great for TV but almost uniformly horrible for movies, you know back when you would rent new releases every weekend and get to the third weekend of the month and you were down to thrillers and dramas you'd never heard of - that's US Netflix!!!

    Ill be staying on US flix for another 12-24 months until all the licenses run out on FTA and Foxtel Australia for all the missing content on Au flix. Netflix will be King imo.

    Off the top of my head the business model for online content could be:

    Place all Movies and TV content in one online repository (Netflix style or other) best of breed features we have all got use to.

    Charge a monthly Fee (But low enough to discourage the flip to Pirate) - We all accept a profit needs to be made

    Split revenue by:
    Delivery (cost of running service plus profit margin)
    Divide balance of monthly fee by what each subscriber watches and distribute to content owner

    Watch one show/movie in a month - full revenue to that content owner
    Or watch everything - evenly paid out across the catalogue.

    Big Data here we come!

    I'm not really surprised that you and other media outlets have started pointing out what's not there compared to the US version. You are run by a company that has ties to Stan. Of course you are going to make Netflix AU sound watered down. All the shows/movies you pointed out are available elsewhere. Give it time and all the shows you mentioned will show up. It's all down to rights. At least Netflix are trying to make content a global thing. Unlike the piss poor excuse services we have had before. Looking at you Quickflix.

      Of course you are going to make Netflix AU sound watered down

      To be fair, it IS actually watered down. Netflix AU has less than a fifth of the title count of Netflix US, a bit over a thousand titles altogether. It's possible to point this out without being on the take.

      When I saw the pictures of the total catalogue of Netflix titles a few days ago I couldn't help but be disappointed. In the genres I'm interested in, I have far more content sitting on my shelves than Netflix is offering.

      Of course it's going to improve, and it's much better than Quickflix, but for now it's looking a lot less attractive.

    Pretty sure X Files is on Presto, who have been adding some decent content lately and updating their device compatibility. I have been binge watching The Pacific. New series coming to Pesto include Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, Homeland, Glee and Buffy.

    The problem I see is that we'll need three subscriptions to get all the things we might want to watch, which will get expensive, although $30 a month is still cheaper than Foxtel, I suppose. For me, though, it remains more convenient, and no more expensive, to go into JB Hi-Fi and buy the things I want to watch on DVD.

      so one single dvd series for ~$30 is cheaper than unlimited streaming of several titles.. k

        Given that it typically takes me anything from one to three months to find the time to watch a single series and that my internet bandwidth costs are roughly $4 per hour of streaming, yes, it works out a lot cheaper. As a bonus, I get much higher quality than streaming, too, and I can legally sell the DVDs on-line when I am done with them, making it cheaper again. My local Blockbuster is closing down so I have been hoovering up discs like there is no tomorrow. I've spent about $150 but it will take me the rest of the year (at least) to watch everything I've bought.

    I've been dreading this outcome since Netflix had announced its launch in Australia. Pathetic, just as I thought. Their "Oceanic version" is an insult to the Aussie digital streaming audience. Glad I haven't cancelled my US Netflix subscription! :D I'm using OverPlay's new SmartDNS JetSwitch service to switch Netflix regions flawlessly on all my devices, so I'm getting access to Netflix's GLOBAL catalog (http://overplay.net/?a_aid=OVRPLY)

    Last edited 24/03/15 12:25 pm

    My solution: A $10-15/mth aggregator.

    - Neutral entity, founded by all the companies, controls ALL the content. Maybe government-owned? I dunno.
    - Aggregator collects the fee from consumers. Consumers can access whatever they like, any time.
    - Aggregator then divides up the cost to the parent companies, depending on what the consumer watched. 80% spent watching HBO's GoT? Then 80% of the monthly charge goes to HBO.
    - Content that is hosted by multiple companies (e.g. South Park is on Netflix AND Hulu) gets cost split up.

    - Consumers will have freedom of choice and convenience beyond their wildest dreams.
    - Parent companies will still get their money.
    - Will actually force competition, not just 1-2 'supershows' per company.
    - The amount of information the companies can get from consumers is insane. Allows them to spend money in areas that need it.

      I'm no expert on trade competition laws, but I can't imagine a single distributor model would be approved in Australia would it?

      My optimism has me thinking down the track that Netflix will one day be large enough to buy out Hulu and potentially be in a position to strong-arm HBO and the likes into a content redistribution agreement.

      As nice as this idea is, it will never sell to the people who need to make it happen.

      As your entertainment is a privilege and not a right, it's not something the government would want to involve themselves in and control. One can argue they already do in a way through the ABC, and our current government is strangling it's funding at the request of american companies.

    The only shows I have seen out of this list are Weeds and Family Guy. I would not consider of either of them "geeky" as I think they have a much wider/general appeal.

    I think the author is missing the point of netflix a little bit. As I see it, it's not necessarily something you go to when you want to see old episodes of your favourite TV shows, it's more for you to experience new content based on what you have seen on netflix in the past. You can also specify shows you like that aren't available on netflix and it will show you similar shows or you can also login to US netflix, watch some episodes on there, and your preferences will affect what's recommended to you here in Australia.

    Having said that though, if you think you can make a difference to worldwide content license deals just by writing an article then go your hardest. You've got nothing to lose.

    Why is everyone surprised? It's the content owners who control what we see here in Oz. People are being forced to pirate in Australia. Internet boundaries are fabricated, not physical.

    I've been trialling Presto and Stan for the last few weeks and they aren't too bad for the price. I'll cancel out of both of them when the free trial runs out and stick with Netflix for a while, simply because of the unmetered arrangement with iiNet. There is an existing system that I have seen first hand practically eliminate pirating copyrighted content and that is Spotify. Say what you will about it, but a lot of people (me included) prefer it to pirating. When the video content is provided on a similar system I'm convinced pirating will drop dramatically.

      pretty sure netflix is the same as spotify.. both have done deals with distributors to bring content and both are missing certain popular content (think taylor swift). i think that tv/movies is a bit more complicated than music also.

      Music is basically the same now. Spotify only has 20,000,000 songs. Rdio on the other hand has 30,000,000 songs, including leading artists like Taylor Swift who are not on Spotify, due to the low amount Spotift pays them.

    Hopefully we will see more LGBT content soon, the US has a brilliant collection.

    I am hopeful that this won't be an issue forever.

    Up until now they haven't had any reason to push for the Australian streaming rights.

    I think a great example of this is Gotham. Channel 9 got the TV rights to the show, but Netflix secured the streaming rights.

    I am sure the negotiations in the background are going to be interesting now - Are the Australian networks going to be locking up the streaming rights when they buy shows for TV? Surely the content creators are going to release they can make more money by selling the TV and Streaming rights separately.

    I'm interested to know how many of these series were "randomly chosen" from the range available on Stan, the Netflix competitor partly owned by Gizmodo Australia's owners, Fairfax.

    EDIT: As it turns out, finder.com.au says that only two of those titles are listed on Stan; The Office and Dexter. Not nearly as suspicious as my original post alluded, I'll concede that.

    Last edited 24/03/15 12:28 pm

      This has nothing to do with Stan. We didn't mention Stan in the article, because it isn't an article about Stan. It's an article about Netflix and its Australian catalogue. Clearly.

      I understand why you've made that comment, but we have consistently made it completely clear on any article about Stan that our parent company is part of the joint venture funding it.

      We're always completely up-front about our (utterly tenuous and labyrinthine) financial relationship with Stan/StreamCo. But that has absolutely zero effect on the articles we write on Gizmodo. Zero.

      I wouldn't even have a clue if any or all or some of these are available on Stan. Today (and this entire week, seemingly) is about Netflix, and we're writing about Netflix.

        But you guys can clearly see why people say it. If you are employed by the parent company of Stan, everone on here is always going to think that you guys are trying to promote your own brand. You will never win on this front :-(

    Yay Netflix is available (FINALLY!!)

    No I can't stream Netflix to my TV using my Roku without a VPN as they haven't made their Roku app available in Australia yet.

    I've contacted Netflix.

    I'm sure nobody is surprised about the content library being smaller, the US version has had years to build its library.

    That being said, there are some AAA shows available here that are not available at all on US Netflix. E.g, Homeland, which isn't available on either Netflix OR Hulu Plus in the US, but we have it on Netflix here. Same with Shameless (US) which is available here but not in the US (though Shameless UK is available there and not here).

    So perhaps just choose a DNS system that let's you flip regions as you please and uh... 'travel around the world' frequently.

    It would be interesting to cross reference the "missing" shows with who has the local distribution rights. I wonder if there's some holdouts from some of the local right owners.

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