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It’s a Netflix World

8 Mar, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In a 24/7 news cycle fueled by the Internet, bloggers and nonstop scuttlebutt, Netflix is generating tag lines for almost no reason.

March 5: Netflix is put on the defensive when two ad spots erroneously air during conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh’s morning program. While Limbaugh’s listener demo wouldn’t appear to fit Netflix’s, with the radio host in hot water over recent derogatory comments made to a female college student about birth control, the spots take on added meaning.

“It won’t happen again,” spokesperson Steve Swasey said in an email. “Netflix has not and will not support the Rush Limbaugh show with advertising.”

March 6: Reuters reports that Netflix is in discussions with cable companies regarding bundling the streaming service to monthly subscribers. Of course that scuttlebutt evolved from CEO Reed Hastings’ comments the previous week at an investor conference where he said he wasn’t opposed to the concept. Why would he? Once considered kryptonite to multichannel video programming distributors, Netflix has become a coveted value-add, like Starbucks to a local strip mall. With No. 1 cable operator Comcast launching its own Xfinity Streampix SVOD service, it’s probably safe to assume who Hastings isn’t talking to.

March 7: Netflix announces that the third-generation Apple TV media player (and second generation with a firmware upgrade) allows users to sign up directly to the streaming service on the screen and get billed through iTunes. AllThingsDigital.com reports that such an arrangement is a blueprint for Netflix’s future cable deals — including Comcast. Maybe it doesn’t know about Streampix.

March 7: A report by paidContent.org intimates that Oscar-nominated director David Fincher is in a budget dispute with the production company in charge of “House of Cards,” the much-anticipated serial drama reboot Netflix optioned ahead of HBO and other pay-TV channels. Netflix has no comment and the production company says Fincher is on set with production proceeding as planned.

March 8: Deadline.com, the Hollywood news website spearheaded by acerbic founder Nikki Fink, “exclusively” reports Netflix is considering acquiring the rights to canceled Fox TV sci-fi drama “Terra Nova.” Reporter Nellie Andreeva, who broke the news regarding Netflix’s acquisition of “House of Cards,” cited sources who said the talks are “preliminary.” With Netflix’s vaunted media status and willingness to spend millions on programming, it no doubt is in discussions with myriad content holders — a reality CCO Ted Sarandos admitted to during a Q&A session at a French media event last year.

Andreeva then opined that while “Terra Nova” would be a good fit for Netflix subscribers, it wouldn’t make much sense from a financial aspect due to the program’s expensive CGI effects and related production costs.

“So while not very likely, a deal for 'Terra Nova' won’t be impossible,” Andreeva wrote.

Apparently, nothing is for Netflix these days.


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