Fan Excuse Bingo is a staple of this site. Today, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos played the N2 square in a speech at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference, saying, “Look how many shows didn’t get past the first three episodes, Not because they were a bad show… but because it was in the wrong slot in the wrong time.”
Because Netflx is a subscriber supported streaming service, Sarandos does not have to worry about ad sales or timeslots. Netflix has chosen to keep the viewership numbers for its original series a closely guarded secret. According to Sarandos, ratings are to blame for television’s creative woes. “I honestly believe [Nielsen ratings] works against quality television.”
Sarandos also expressed skepticism about Neilsen’s impending SVOD measurement service which will provide information about Netflix, Amazon Prime and other pay-to-stream services, alluding to the glitch that wreaked havoc with ratings for the first few weeks of this television season. “I hope you have all the confidence in that number as you do in their current tracking.” Since Nielsen will only allow the streaming services to see the figures for their own content, (Netflix will get information exclusively about its programs, while Amazon Prime will be the sole recipient of information about Alpha House and Transparent), viewers are likely to remain in the dark about how many people are actually watching Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards for the forseeable future.
You can read more of what Sarandos had to say in Variety.