‘Daredevil’: Netflix Turned A Blind Eye To Viewer Demand By Canceling Marvel Series

When Netflix executives decided to cancel the Marvel series Daredevil they turned a blind eye to viewer demand.

That’s evident in the latest numbers from Parrot Analytics which reveal that Daredevil ranked fourth last week in viewer demand among all digital originals in the United States across all streaming platforms.

Demand for the sightless superhero series was surpassed only by three shows (Narcos, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Stranger Things, all from Netflix) during the week ending Dec. 1, the chart shows. The chart measures “desire, engagement and viewership” with weighted values that, for example, would give heft to the total “likes” a show accumulates but not as much weight as the total number of actual viewings.

Daredevil, which was cancelled on Nov. 29, finished the month’s final week with close to 30 million demand expressions. It finished ahead of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale as well as Netflix peers like The Last Kingdom, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

The Third Season of Daredevil was released in October to upbeat reviews  but the critical  judgments being made at Netflix were more about corporate realities than creative achievements.

While Netflix ponied up for production costs for the Marvel shows the streaming service had zero ownership stake in the IP. That limited upside was acceptable until Marvel’s parent, Disney, announced next year’s launch of Disney+, a direct rival to Netflix that will have Marvel Studios content as a flagship in its formidable armada.

Disney will also be withdrawing its past and present content from Netflix in the months ahead. That effectively reduced the Marvel shows on Netflix to the corporate equivalent of refugees.

Two Marvel shows (Iron Fist, Luke Cage) were canceled before Daredevil but two others in their off-season remain (Jessica Jones, The Punisher). The Daredevil character has far more comic book history and pedigree than the other Netflix heroes and Marvel has already indicated that he won’t be left on a shelf for long.

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