If you’re dying to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad but don’t have a cable subscription, perhaps it’s time for a quick UK vacation.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Breaking Bad’s final episodes will stream exclusively on Netflix the day after their U.S. broadcast. The popular drama about a school teacher turned meth dealer airs on AMC in the United States, with the final eight-episode run beginning on Sunday, August 11.
“Netflix has been instrumental in making Breaking Bad the success that it is—particularly in the UK and Ireland, where it has built an audience and become a huge phenomenon,” creator Vince Gilligan said in a press release.
Gilligan has shown his appreciation for Netflix before. In an interview with Wired last month, he theorized that binge watching of old Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix allowed people to catch up with the series and eventually watch new episodes as they aired. “Under the old paradigm—using the old technology of simply having first runs and then reruns on networks—I don’t know that we would’ve reached the critical mass that we reached,” he said.
While Netflix users in the United States would probably love to have next-day streaming of shows like Breaking Bad, deals between AMC and pay-TV providers likely prevent that from happening. (Sometimes these agreements can go awry; last year, AMC allowed Dish customers to stream new episodes of Breaking Bad amid contract disputes between the network and the satellite provider.)
But outside the United States, TV networks are sometimes more experimental in distributing their content. HBO, for instance, offers standalone subscriptions to HBO Go in Norway, whereas a cable subscription is required in the United States.
In the past, AMC has added episodes to Amazon and iTunes the day after they air, priced at $2 per episode for standard definition and $3 per episode for high definition. However, AMC’s website only says that the episodes will be available “On Demand” the next day, without going into specifics. We’ll have to wait and see whether Breaking Bad fans in the United States can continue to get their fix—excuse the pun—without a cable subscription.
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