A potential problem for the TV networks is receiving attention as fallout from a hassle one network has been having for months.
A possible explanation surfaced recently for Nickelodeon’s ratings decline, which has been a source of contentiousness between Nick owner Viacom and Nielsen, Advertising Age reports.
It may be all about Netflix, and it may have far-reaching significance — beyond just Nickelodeon. The upshot may be that “at least one subset of viewers is at risk of abandoning live TV,” the story reports.
Netflix subscribers watched more than 2 billion hours of movies and TV shows via its streaming service in the final three months of 2011, a quarterly record, according to the story.
Those numbers suggests that Netflix customers are watching an hour a day of streaming video, Janney Capital Market analyst Tony Wible said, according to the story.
"While this can’t be proven yet, it seems more than coincidental that this 2 billion stat comes during the same quarter as Viacom’s disastrous Nickelodeon ratings," Wible said, according to the piece. "This could mean Viacom sold too much of its content to Netflix or isn’t charging enough."
Netflix and Nickelodeon don’t believe there’s a connection, the piece adds. Netflix declined to say how much of the fourth-quarter streaming consisted of children’s programming, according to the article.
Other children’s programmers, including Cartoon Network and Disney XD, are also becoming concerned, the story notes. Meanwhile, Starz and other channels have also been weighing the costs and benefits of providing programming through Netflix.