Cable Operators

Hastings: Netflix Doesn’t Want War

5/09/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reiterated
that his company does not want to deliver currentseason
TV shows or newer movies to its more than 23
million subscribers, saying such a move would spark
“World War III” with incumbent pay TV providers.

“We’ve consistently said getting into current-season
[TV] or newer movies would not be profitable for us. It
would be an Armageddon. It would be World War III,
and we likely wouldn’t survive that battle,” Hastings, as
quoted by website CNNMoney,
said. He spoke May 3 at the
Wired Business Conference in
New York.

The Netflix “niche” philosophy
is to stay “not too big, not too
small,” Hastings said, according
to CNNMoney: “[Netflix is]
not every single thing all of you
folks want to watch, but it’s $8 a
month. It’s choosier content.”

As of the end of March, Netflix had 23.6 million subscribers,
with 22.8 million in the U.S. — more video customers
than Comcast. In announcing first-quarter earnings April
25 week, Netflix executives reiterated their position that the
company’s service offering is “a supplemental channel” to
traditional pay TV providers.

It turns out Hastings is a Comcast video subscriber. He
said he subscribes to cable TV to get sports, news and
current-season TV programming. “It’s not that we can’t
do live. We don’t have any advantage,” he said, according

Hastings also said Internet-connection speeds have followed
Moore’s Law over the last 12 years — doubling every
18 months — and he predicted that consumers will have
1 Gigabit per second connections to the home by 2020.