Bad news for Netflix subscribers: SpongeBob is going away

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, get ready to have your kids say goodbye to  SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.

Amid all the hoopla about Netflix’s earnings today, investors may have missed this tidbit: the company is losing — or, as Netflix puts it, letting expire — another big content deal, this time with Viacom.

The deal, which gives Netflix the rights to stream content from Nickelodeon, BET and MTV, runs out at the end of May. In a letter to shareholders, Netflix executives said that they are trying to license particular shows from Viacom, but haven’t reached any kind of agreement yet.

The company tried to put a positive spin on the development. The Viacom deal is a broad-based one, giving it access to a wide range of shows. But Netflix has been more selective lately, company officials said.

“As we continue to focus on exclusive and curated content, our willingness to pay for non-exclusive, bulk content deals declines,” officials said in the letter.

And while Netflix is losing access to Viacom shows such as SpongeBob, its recent deals with Disney and Dreamworks Animation means that it has other kids’ content to offer.

But try telling that to your kids when they’re clamoring for Dora this summer.


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  • Scarlette

    Not only would my kids be heartbroken to say goodbye to SpongeBob and Dora, but also I would go crazy. While I was in my office at DISH earlier today, one of my coworkers was telling me that Netflix often loses titles, and it blew my mind. I’m glad that DISH’s Blockbuster @Home doesn’t make me say goodbye to titles since they always have over 100,000 titles for my family and I to choose from, and that includes all eight seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants.

    • Cathy

      This is absurd. The only main reason we have Netflix is because of spongebob and yo gabba gabba. I’m very upset. I guess now there’s no reason for me to have Netflix. Thanks Netflix for an awesome service.

    • Cryo

      Heh… This certainly reads like an advertisement. At least you admit to working for the company your advertising for though. I guess that counts for something. : P

      The article itself sounds a lot like scare tactics too though. They may be losing access to some content from Viacom, but they still have the option of licensing access to individual shows. It stands to reason that popular shows that attract customers (like Spongebob and Dora) would be among those that they’ll continue to carry, making the headline and first lines of this article downright deceptive.

      • Michelle

        Nope Cryo — Spongebob is not on Netflix anymore, but a search through my Tivo shows that you can buy it at Amazon….whoopee. My son and I aren’t happy campers!

    • Need spongebob back in a hurry

  • Annie

    My 2 year old son just handed me the Wii remote asking for Spongebob. Netflix, haven’t you earned enough money yet? Why make my son cry? You went from an awesome, customer oriented company to a typical giant corporation greedy for money and not caring about what your subscribers want. If Spongebob isn’t brought back to streaming, I will be forced to cancel you again and turn to FiOS for my sons entertainment (which give me 30 minute breaks to get things done).

    • ember

      Same with my two year old. As soon as we get in the room he says “MAAA, SPONGEBOB”. We’re going crazy.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe your two-year olds should be doing something more constructive than watching tv shows they won’t remember

        • Leo

          Cuz they’ll remember something from when they’re two, constructive or not.

        • Edward

          Kids should be watching tv. There’s nothing better

        • Anonymous

          Wrong. Because I remember a lot of the Looney toon’s show’s when I was a kid and it makes me smile still when I think of it

  • gene

    Go to hulu now lol

  • BL

    Well isn’t that just fantastic- and here I thought my queue was having another geriatric moment and forgot half my titles…again.

    As the father of a special needs child, its mind numbingly difficult to find a show my daughter will like and Dora was one of the few.

    • KS

      I thought the exact same thing. Searched on the xbox and then an exhaustive search on the Roku. Wow what a shame. I may be getting cable after all.

  • Nikki

    Call and complain. I did. The customer service rep said that the only way they know that people are unsatisfied is if they call and complain!

  • darren

    Some advice to Nickleodeon
    You folks that own the rights to Dora should wake up and realize its these free show opportunities that hook the kids on all the “dora” toys and clothes and Manchester and books and other videos and and and etc etc etc.
    AT the end of the day you will be the losers because most of us will not go and pay for more access to these programs when we are paying so little for so much more. So now my little ones will learn to like a program from what we’ve got with netflix and my wallet will suffer due to the fact that now they will want all the associated products of that new character. Your loss Nickleodeon and Mattel…..

  • Disco

    I called and complained. The rep was very courteous. For our household, Netflix = Dora and Diego. We have no other reason to buy the service.

    I don’t really care whose problem this is, Netflix or Viacom. Figure it out or lose a customer.

    • Jen

      That’s exactly what I’m saying. Goodbye Netflix!!! How could you??

  • Jeffro

    No spongbob, no jeffro, hello dish or antibody that provides FULL service.

  • Jennifer

    This is ridiculous. I pay for Netflix every month for the one and only single reason of Dora and Diego and of course SpongeBob. My son is 2 years old and now can’t watch his favorite shows. Say goodbye to my money Netflix.. There’s more money you’re about to lose!!!!!!

  • Kerri

    I was shocked when I noticed spongebob was gone and my 4yr old was not happy. Thank god I have hulu plus they have spongebob and you don’t have to start the next show it auto plays. So now I am not sure if I am going to keep my Netflix anymore.

  • Tabitha

    Hmmm. May have to find another service that provides nickelodeon shows. A major reason we chose Netflix was due to Spongebob, Dora, Go Diego Go, Backyardigans etc. taking away nick shows is bad enough for me to drop the service. Very disappointed, anyone know another great service? Will check out amazon prime and see what else I can find.

    • Dee

      Did you think about trying Hulu?

  • Kevin

    yeah this is kinda bad. My 2 year old daughter loves Diego and Dora. She came in today saying Dora Dora, and I turn it on and it’s not there. She cried and fussed. Sad day indeed. I suggest we email them.

  • Quinn

    Although my children and I were upset to see these titles go, it isn’t deal breaking. They will find other shows. I’m not even upset with Netflix for not keeping the contract. Ever since they came to scene almost every Hollywood studio, and tv exec company has tried to put them through the ringer. It is upsetting that CEOs just don’t know when to stop.

  • Kristin

    I can not believe they took spongebob off that is the only thing that makes him stop crying in the morning! I guess I am going to cancel my subscription and with the money I save buy spongebob DVDs. Thanks a lot Netflix you really have stressed me out with great customer service customers should come first and this is a big deal for my faminly!

  • Becky

    I can’t believe people are getting so upset. If you want to cancel your subscription, do it and take that money to buy a little thing called a DVD. After a few months you could have a good library built up.
    Besides, kids will find other shows to watch, their interests change so quickly.
    I have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a baby, so trust me, we definitely have our favorite shows. But if they couldn’t handle it if those shows were not available anymore, then we have bigger problems.
    Personally, we (the parents) have found lots of other material available that we enjoy watching. We will be sticking with Netflix for a long time!

    • jason

      shut your pie hole!..we want spongebob

  • cait

    I AM NO LONGER USING NETFLIX. i am deleting my account.

  • Satan

    amazon prime has spongebob & dora plus free 2 day shipping and it costs less than netflix at only $79 yr

    • Steve

      Yeah, we went right into the arms of Amazon Prime. My kids still have their Nickelodeon, thank God!

  • Moises

    This is stupido no sponge bob wtf!!!!!

  • Karla

    Another dissatisfied 6 year old boy! What no Spongebob, Mom??? Rethinking my Netflix subscription!

  • rick

    The first thing my son learned to say was mama dada and spongebob no spongebob no netflix period…..very dissapointed parent

  • Kay

    Canceling my Netflix tomorrow. My son is the only reason I have Netflix. Spongebob is the only show he watches.

    • Rick

      Same here.

  • i am 18 years old and i am totaly heartbroken. this is so sad the only reason i had netflix was for spong bob and guess what im gona cancle my membership for netflix.

    • Tiffany

      I too am an 18 year old. My farvorite show since i was young has been “Spongebob Squarepants” i watched it every day and every night before bed. When i got upset, my first go-to thing was turn to watch Spongebob on netflix… But not anymore. When i found out it was gone, i cried for ages. Not only are you making children cry, but adults too. Thanks a lot Netflix.

  • Kera

    This really stinks. My son loves SpongeBob. He has tons of dvds but still loves it on netflix too. Bad decisions netflix are making.

    • (Name Protected)

      its not Netflix. It’s Viacom.
      Viacom is the owner of nickelodeon and Nick jr.
      they have been greedy for money. and if they believe they are not getting enough money. The drop a show. That’s why direct TV dropped nick for a while. so don’t go so hard on Netflix. Start yelling at Viacom.

  • someone


  • Matt Thompson

    My two-year old, my two-year old…whah whah whah. Some parents that have to glue their two year old to tv? I think Netflix is doing u a favor. Maybe of they had more parenting shows u wouldnt complain.

  • markus

    I bought season one and 3 on dvd. (14.00 a pop at wal-mart.) Crisis averted.

  • Cait

    No spongebob = no netflix. You suck netflix!!

  • Tommy Boy

    This is not surprising. None of these online services like Netflix stay around long term. Eventually they will be stomped out by someone else. NF will raise the rates for less and will be replaced by someone else, which of course will be replaced to, etc, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Spongebob is not just for kids. I’m 24, all my friends are in the 16 – 40 range and a good handful of us can relate when it comes to comedies. I was already disappointed in their limited selection of it, but none at all. I’m looking for alternatives.

  • Johnny

    I’ve watched SpongeBob every single day. But now, I went on the app on my Wii U, Suddenly, it wasn’t on instant queue. I then looked on recently watched, and it wasn’t there! Now I have to watch it in the morning ONE SECOND BEFORE SCHOOL. Netflix, BRING BACK SQUAREPANTS. I CAN’T STAND GOING TO SCHOOL WITHOUT WATCHING MY FAVORITE SHOW!!!!!

  • I hope you know this totally sucks Netflix, i only resubscribed to Netflix recently so my daughter could watch sponge bob.i feel like i just waisted my eight bucks. I love him just that much.

  • Lonnie

    Awh 🙁 I’m 13 years old and I was very sad to see Spongebob is gone. Now I guess all I have to watch is Family Guy which I really wanted to stop doing but now it’s the only thing that interest me. Man Netflix .-.

  • aprilrain

    Wow this is really sad. My 5 year old son loves spongebob and that’s mainly what he watched on netflex. And suddenly its gone. I am going to try to find something other then netflex.


    Just would like to reiterate, Netflix, you just lost my business. Spongebob was the only reason my family used your service.

  • LuLu28

    OMG-all you whiny parents! Maybe you should do something with your kids instead of parking them in front of the TV. Netflix offers lots of good programming (and I don’t work for them). Your kids all sound like spoiled brats.

  • Me

    No spongebob no netflix

  • Madelyne

    Omgg!! I don’t like Netflix anymore why did they had to take out spongebob?? I am very upset the only reason why I had Netflix was because of spongebob :/… Well I guess there’s no more reason for me to be a customer on Netflix anymore!!

  • lauren

    Netflix is really starting to tick me off. I was looking forward to lying in bed all summer watching movies and cartoons (just finished my first year in college, need a break!), but now they have gotten rid of Spongebob, Fairly Odd Parents, to my knowledge they have never had Scooby Doo. They don’t even have The Wizard of Oz!! I’m cancling my membership.

  • Kamala

    I always have a few shows on Netflix that I’m into, and I always lose interest in them eventually. Spongebob was a different case– that is my childhood that you took away from me!! And I still love him! I’m calling customer service when I get back from vacation. This is outrageous!

  • sasha

    Are they serious?! They only have 4/8 seasons, and now they’re TAKING IT OFF? This is one of the only reasons we bought Netflix, for the “recent shows”. Now the only shows we can watch are old shows from the 1700’s, because Netflix does seem to have those without any problems.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Some people just don’t get it. This isn’t Netflix looking to piss you off. This is Nickelodeon selling their content to the highest bidder, in this case Amazon.

    Want to complain? Call Nickelodeon and tell then you want the choice to subscribe to their content on Netflix.

  • (name Protected)

    Hey, this is the same guy who typed that lecture about Viacom. Try watching these great titles:
    (TV=14) Futurama, Master of disguise,
    Happy Gilmore,
    regular show,
    adventure time
    Codename kids next door
    Fosters home for- imaginary friends,
    and many More!

    (P.S , I don’t work for Netflix. I am only 12.)

  • zac

    hell, my 20 year old son cried at the loss of the little square dude.

  • Angry Person


  • bluelightzero

    Wow, my brothers watching this right now.

  • Jordan Jean Baronette

    This is soo stupid! Now that Netflix has become big shots they feel they can now close their doors and start making us watch things only they deem “worth it!” Like come on I know we only pay $10 per month but its our small amount of $10 that makes you big shots! I personally pay for Netflix so I have a wode variety of shows to watch, not just shows Netflix likes! Come on Netflix get you head out of your a**