It's safe to say that Netflix is far from happy with NBC. After the network's analytics guru Alan Wurtzel estimated viewing figures, the streaming service responded with a few scornful digs.
The data released was far from unflattering, estimating that Jessica Jones averaged an impressive 4.8 million, while other shows such as Master of None and Narcos averaged over 3 million per episode.
Maybe Netflix Is More "Fun"?
Even so, Netflix doesn't like NBC sticking their noses into their business. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos had his claws out when discussing the figures. He said:
"So there’s a couple of mysteries in play for me. One is why would NBC use their lunchtime [press conference] to talk about our ratings. Maybe cause it’s more fun to talk [about] than NBC’s ratings."
Ouch, feel the burn NBC, feel the burn! Sarandos also explained that the way that the technology company estimated the data "doesn’t reflect any sense of reality of anything that we keep track of."
Sarandos had further stern words for NBC. He added:
"I don’t know why anybody would be spending so much energy and time and given what I believe is remarkably inaccurate data."
That's fighting talk from Netflix right there. And in all fairness, they have the right to hubris; they have an astronomical subscription rate, with over 69 million members, who watched 42.5 billion hours of content in 2015.
With those numbers taken into consideration, it appears Sarandos is suggesting the figures are actually much higher.
Do Viewing Figures Affect Quality?
Netflix is the (relatively) new kid on the block, so it's no surprise traditional TV networks may feel threatened. NBC's estimation was an attempt to apply a numerical representation of their impact, but is it really that relevant?
Sarandos certainly feels so. Yes, that's right, he's not finished yet. Rounding off his analysis of the estimated figures, he added:
"If we turn it into a weekly arms race by doing box scores for every [Nielsen-issued ratings report, we’re] going to have the same result as it’s had on [traditional] television, which I think has been remarkably negative in terms of the quality of shows."
The idea that subscriptions can reduce the significance of viewing figures is important. Often, cult hits may not receive as big an audience as its creativity, originality, and overall quality deserves. Moving away from ads to subscriptions could give more flexibility with programming.
Either way, as long as viewers benefit from the clash of the TV titans, then by all means, continue the heated debate.
Whose side are you on?
Source: Comic Book