Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos speaks onstage during the Netflix portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 28, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)"The Get Down," a series starting this summer about the formative days of rap music, could appeal to both youngsters and their parents. Netflix said it has 43 million subscribers in the United States, or more than a third of households with television, and 70 million worldwide. It has steadfastly refused to detail how many people watch their original programs, leading a rival to try and pull back the curtain this week. NBC researchers said they used audio measurements from Symphony Advanced Media to estimate viewership for some Netflix programs. For instance, NBC said the comedy "Master of None" was seen 3.9 million times by viewers ages 18-to-49 over a 35-day period, while "Marvel's Jessica Jones" had 4.8 million youthful viewers during the same stretch of time. NBC argued this meant Netflix wasn't a serious threat to its business.
The cast of Netflix original series 'Master of None' attend the show's premiere in New York City on Nov. 5, 2015. (Getty Images)Sarandos said NBC released "remarkably inaccurate data that does not reflect any reality that we track," and said Netflix doesn't measure viewership in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. He said NBC probably took the time to talk about Netflix "because it's more fun than talking about NBC's ratings." He did not, however, release any specific data to dispute what NBC said.
One thing not in Netflix's immediate future: live programming, including news or sports. While Netflix has the technical ability to deliver live programming, it would muddle the company's chief marketing message that viewers can watch whatever they want whenever they want. Sarandos also needled John Landgraf, CEO of the FX Networks, who complained Saturday of Netflix's big programming budget and has suggested that there are too many television shows being made for consumers to get a grip on. "Is there too much TV?" Sarandos asked. "We don't think there's too much TV, and if there is too much TV, somebody else has to slow down."
NBC took the time to talk about Netflix "because it's more fun than talking about NBC's ratings."
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