Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2014 (Revised January 2015)

MRC's House of Cards

by Anita Elberse

Abstract

In March 2011, Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk, co-chairmen and co-chief executive officers at independent production company Media Rights Capital (MRC), are debating whether to accept a licensing offer from Netflix for their most ambitious project to date, a new television series called House of Cards. MRC executives had begun to pitch the series to each of the major premium cable networks in the US, including AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, and Starz. To the surprise of the two entrepreneurs, Netflix executives had made it known they were prepared to make a bold step into the world of original programming. As thrilled as Satchu and Wiczyk were about Netflix's offer, accepting it—and thus forgoing a sought-after one-season offer from a traditional premium cable network—raised major concerns, for instance about MRC's ability to secure international rights fees, to obtain sufficient marketing support, to gain the necessary credibility in the marketplace, and to satisfy artists and other key constituents. Was Netflix the right partner for MRC?

Keywords: marketing; television; house of cards; asif satchu; modi wiczyk; Netflix; media rights capital; Technology; Change Management; Marketing; Television Entertainment; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

Citation:

Elberse, Anita. "MRC's House of Cards." Harvard Business School Case 515-003, August 2014. (Revised January 2015.)