Ask any anime fan what one of their biggest pet peeves is about anime, and they're likely to tell you, "The fact that my favorite series never got licensed."
From the outside, the licensing of anime outside of Japan can be an opaque business. To the average viewer, and even to most fans, it's not clear how specific titles got chosen to be distributed while others continue to languish in limbo. The quality of the show often seems to have little to do with it: many great shows never make it outside of Japan, or only make it after a great many delays.
Why does this happen? Here's a few of the common reasons why.