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Netflix Streaming Takes Olympic Hit

2 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

With the London 2012 Summer Olympics the most interactive Games in history, concerns about the quadrennial sporting event’s impact on home entertainment and Netflix streaming appear well-founded.

Netflix streaming traffic declined 25% July 29, the second full day of competition in the 17-day event, according to a report by Procera Networks, a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of network security software.

NBC Universal, which is broadcasting more than 5,000 hours of Olympics coverage, also is making available more than 3,500 hours of streaming content to authenticated and non-authenticated viewers.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings during the company’s most recent fiscal call cautioned the Summer Olympics could have detrimental impact on subscriber additions and streaming usage.

The streaming pioneer’s stock has taken a beating since its July 24 financials release due largely to investor concerns regarding subscriber growth and costs related to Netflix’s expansion internationally.

Procera said streaming of the Olympics in North America increased 100% on July 29 from July 28, with bandwidth traffic usage peaking at 34% on the 29th. Notably, Netflix streaming in Canada was unaffected through the first weekend of the Games — underscoring lower consumer interest in the event.

“This matches expectations as the U.S. is much more involved in the Olympics than Canada, and with the peak levels that we mentioned earlier for Olympics streaming, something had to give, and in this case it was Netflix,” wrote Cam Cullen with Procera.

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