How Long Will It Take Netflix to Pass the Big 4 Broadcast Nets? It’s Happening Sooner Than You Think

Jun 26, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A new analysis of viewing data indicates that Netflix, the top streaming service, will have a larger audience, on a 24-hour basis, than any of the big 4 broadcast networks within a year, Variety reports.

The story cites an analysis by FBR Capital Markets, with the caveat that the comparison is “not apples-to-apples.” Variety notes that the report by FBR analysts Barton Crockett and Chase White “is meant to be a barometer of the relative popularity of Netflix to traditional TV nets.”

The analysis is based on Netflix’s reported 10 billion hours of video streaming by users in the first quarter of this year, which translates to almost two hours per subscriber per day.

“The FBR analysts calculated what Netflix’s Nielsen rating would be by dividing the two-hour figure by 24 hours, then multiplying that by the number of Netflix U.S. subs as a percentage of households,” Variety reports. “That would give Netflix an overall rating in Q1 of 2.6, on par with ABC and NBC. And given that Netflix is growing usage at a compound annual growth rate of more than 40% — while broadcasters are on average declining — that means the streamer will have a larger 24-hour audience in one year than any broadcast network.”

Variety notes, however: “Nielsen TV ratings cover, at most, up to seven days of VOD and DVR viewing — and exclude online-video views, which networks say are an increasing part of the pie. Moreover, TV networks provide a different blend of content, such as live sports, that Netflix doesn’t. And anyway, Netflix doesn’t care about ‘ratings’ of individual shows, given that it doesn’t sell ads and has steadfastly refused to disclose anything but general data about viewing.”



  1. This article is almost meaningless. It ignores a central fact that the primary content streamed by Netflix users is off-network TV shows. — awareness of which is still chiefly driven by on air promotion. Networks aren’t complaining. Netflix has become a reliable secondary revenue stream.

  2. Arthur is correct. Audiences’ will find the good network shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the others. This is really a warning to the cable companies who continue to force people to pay for content they don’t want or need. The cable and Satellite companies better start providing an a la carte menu quick or they will be left in the cold. One of these online companies is going to grab rights to a couple of major college conferences for football and basketball and that will explode the sports world and the whole reason why the cable and satellite companies are still in existence.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)