Advanced Television

NCTA: “Netflix is beating cable”

May 13, 2013

By Chris Forrester

NCTA president Michael Powell is about to tell a US Senate hearing that OTT supplier Netflix is the largest subscription video provider in the USA today. Powell is due to address the senate’s Communication’s Subcomittee on May 14th, and tell them that “The largest subscription video provider in the country today is Netflix — not Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV or any other MVPD.”

Worse, for his NCTA members, Powell says that while there’s plenty of consumption of Netflix’s output on tablets and computers, but 65 per cent of Netflix downloads are to TV sets.

And that’s just Netflix’s impact. Add in video downloads from Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, CinemaNow and other non-traditional suppliers, and cable is understandable threatened.

His warning to the Senate is that without cable’s investment in new programming, and he specifically mentions AMC’s Mad Men, there will be little programming to run later on OTT systems.

Coincidentally, many Hollywood studios last week said they were going to exclude Netflix from fresh contract output deals. Warner Bros, MGM and Universal stated they would not renew Netflix output deals. This will remove some 2000 movie titles from the Netflix portfolio.

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