TV networks are pissed at Netflix for not disclosing data on what you're watching

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I get great satisfaction knowing the Networks are squirming over Netflix.


Same as the old boss.


Came for the hot take, was not disappointed.

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The networks disclose their ratings to sell ads. Netflix doesn’t need to attract ads so it’s none of anyone else’s business. Why are the networks confused or upset about this?


They want the ratings to trash talk Netflix. Also probably to develop strategy based on demographics. After all, Netflix shows are funded sort of on the same model as the BBC, so they can take risks the networks can’t–so there is value there for them to know how it shakes out in the ratings.


ummm… no?


I.e. the funding comes from the viewers. Subscription instead of license, but the net result is similar in that they don’t have to pander to advertisers.


I’m honestly pretty impressed at how much of a tantrum they are throwing about the fact that a company that makes shows for paying customers doesn’t feel like talking detailed sales figures for free.

The guy bloviating about how Netflix doesn’t have a national security need for secrecy? Clearly pretty good at creating compelling fantasies, at least in is own head.

Now, if we could just set them all on fire and get that nice spectrum back…


What does that even mean, aside from vague curmudgeonliness?

There’s a huge difference between programming funded by advertisers (broadcast networks, most cable channels) and programming funded by subscribers (Netflix, HBO).


Yes, but the most pressing problem is being ignored! Where will I find a night-light for my toilet?


Everybody in the UK with a TV is a BBC subscriber.

This is all a tempest in a teapot, but I strongly suspect that if the roles were reversed and it was the networks and studios claiming that their shows are doing well, disputing all claims otherwise, and then adamantly refusing to provide any numbers that might back up their claims, we’d be arguing that the networks were obviously corrupt liars.

Maybe the networks need vans driving residential neighborhoods with electronics equipment to capture the EMI signatures of netflix shows. Like the BBC looks for unlicensed TVs.


Waiting for Netflix to slow down on Comcast networks, due to NBC being owned by Comcast.


“which uses audio content recognition installed on phones to recognize what is being watched and when”


Not much substance in the network’s arguments, seems like Netflix must have hit pretty close to the mark to get them all riled up like that.

It is certainly true that Netflix has no more intrinsic purity of essence than the rest of them but; aside from pure amusement value, there are some structural reasons to treat their opacity more benevolently:

Ratings battles don’t just happen in a vacuum, they are the centerpiece of lots of ugly knife fighting over how valuable ad time is and how expensive(and how audaciously bundled) various cable TV offerings will end up being. Some degree of dishonestly might be enough to end up in court; but everything short of that provides all involved with very strong incentive for the most grandiose puffery possible.

Netflix has a nonzero ability to cross-subsidize within their company(and it is entirely possible that some of their projects are failing to pull their weight at any given time and being propped up by more profitable ones or investor hope); but their situation just doesn’t have the same level of ugly-stakeholder-brawl. If they spend too much, they’ll lose money. If they neglect stuff that customers actually want in favor of shoddy vanity projects, they’ll lose customers. That’s pretty much it. To the degree that Netflix is engaged in puffery, it is presumably to scare rightsholders it is trying to license stuff from, by exaggerating its success in producing original shows and encouraging them to offer better terms; but their relationship with their subscribers is pretty direct, which makes it harder to be as suspicious of them.


As quoth Jello Biafra: “For every spy in government, there’s fifteen private eyes who round up dirt on you to keep on file; then sell the file! That’s progress, the kind that makes you feel good inside.”

In this case, “Symphony Advanced Media” are the chaps in question. Apparently $5/month in gift cards is enough to get people to install some pretty creepy shit.

Those silly commies just never learned how to run a surveillance apparatus as a business…