In all the coverage of these battles between broadcasters and cable/satellite providers, one thing that rarely gets mentioned is the role played by Netflix and other streaming video services. But according to one Netflix executive, his company is being treated like that new friend who your old BFF hates because the two of you don’t hang out as much as you did before Netflix moved into town.
See, as customers cut the cord and opt to go online for their entertainment needs, cable companies are getting mad with broadcasters for selling their content to Netflix and its ilk.
“We are faced with increasingly aggressive cable operators who want to do more deals for less money and who try to block us,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained yesterday at The Hollywood Reporter’s sixth annual Power Lawyers breakfast.
He cites the recent spat between Dish and AMC that ended with the satellite company permanently (or so they claim) removing AMC channels from its lineup. Sarandos claims AMC’s decision to make its shows — Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead — available on Netflix has become a point of contention between the broadcaster and cable companies.
But Sarandos believes that Netflix only helps to build audiences for the networks that make their shows available.
He points to the example of Mad Men, which many people caught up with on Netflix after hearing about it from friends or in the media. But rather than poach from TV viewers, the show’s availability on Netflix only led to bigger numbers for the most recent season of the show.
“[I]n return for having built the ratings, AMC gets into a fight with cable operators,” he says, “because they sell to Netflix.”
Sarandos says Netflix is currently in around 26 million homes in the U.S., but believes “We could be in 100 million homes… We want to drive the this entire migration of the future of entertainment.”