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Sarandos: ‘House of Cards’ Most-Watched Show on Netflix

12 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ted Sarandos

Netflix’s foray into original programming, “House of Cards,” has been the subscription video-on-demand pioneer’s most-viewed program since its Feb. 1 debut, said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.

Speaking Feb. 12 at the D: Dive In Media confab in Laguna Beach, Calif., Sarandos refused to divulge the number of subscribers or households that actually watched the any of the show’s 13 episodes featuring Kevin Spacey as ethics-challenged House Majority Whip Francis Underwood.

Netflix is spending $100 million producing two seasons (26 episodes) of “Cards,” which is a reboot of 1990s BBC series.

“I don’t want to give ratings, because it is a real apples-to-oranges comparison with network ratings,” Sarandos said.

Sarandos isn’t being coy. Netflix doesn’t disclose ratings for any of its programming — a policy already in place last year with the launch of black comedy “Lilyhammer,” Netflix’s first original program.

The CCO mocked the traditional Nielsen body count applied to primetime TV, saying those numbers are irrelevant to Netflix since it has no advertising and, thus, no marketers to appease.

“I honestly have no motivation” to disclose the ratings, Sarandos said.

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