Netflix Takes Another Swipe At NBC After Earnings Beat

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (Photograph: AP Images)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings uses fourth-quarter earnings report to trade barbs with NBC after reporting users streamed 42.5 billion hours of content in 2015, up from 29 billion hours in 2014

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings rolled out financial results that impressed Wall Street, and used the opportunity to take another swipe at NBC.

Hastings announced in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday that Netflix added 5.6 million members worldwide during the fourth quarter. The streaming service then passed the 75 million-subscriber mark right after New Years.

The result: Netflix users streamed 42.5 billion hours of programs and movies in 2015. And Hastings used the performance to tweak NBC’s president of research and development, who last week said streaming was overblown and that the big networks was “TV like God intended.”

“Our investors are not as sure of God’s intentions for TV, and instead think that Internet TV is a fundamentally better entertainment experience that will gain share for many years,” he wrote. “The challenge for traditional media companies, most of whom see the future pretty clearly, is to use the revenue from Netflix and other SVOD services to fund both great content and their own evolution into Internet TV networks.”

The quip followed a robust earnings period for Netflix during the last three months of last year. The company reported a profit of $43 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $1.67 billion.

The results easily sailed past Wall Street projections, but was sharply lower from the year-ago period. Netflix has been spending serious cash each quarter as part of an international expansion, which has cost the company about $109 million during the quarter.

Netflix shares catapulted higher in after-hours trading, with the stock up 9 percent after closing the regular session higher at $107.89. Netflix was the best-performing stock in the broad S&P 500 last year after it more than doubled in price.

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Originally posted by Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter
19th January 2016