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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Throughout 2011, I called the play-by-play of Netflix's(NFLX - Get Report) collapse. At times, it appeared as if I knew CEO Reed Hastings' company better than he did.
Change happens fast in new media, though. Heading into 2013, I am moderately bullish NFLX.
Even though he refuses to admit a shift in strategy, Hastings tweaked Netflix's focus.
The days of way-too-expensive, large-scale and seemingly random content buys are gone. Leave that to
Amazon.com(AMZN) for now. Netflix realized that to provide value to viewers and content owners it needed to carve out a relatively sustainable niche.
I'm living proof that it's effective.
FX will gain a viewer it would not have had without Netflix. After I finish
Louie reruns on Netflix, I'll catch the new season on cable.
AMC Networks(AMCX - Get Report) freely admits that Netflix helped drive ratings for the most recent new season of
Work in Kids TV, documentaries, an attempt to succeed at original programming and an average, but serviceable slate of movies and popular television shows and, finally, Netflix has a future.
If Canada mattered more globally (by the way, it should and I wish it did), I might contend that the spear
BCE(BCE - Get Report) (formerly Bell Canada) just tossed could kill Netflix. Here's what's happening (with help from
The Canadian Press via
Yahoo! Finance Canada and how it will impact Netflix's business, if at all:
BCE will use its recent purchase of
Astral Media to fuel a cross-platform Netflix competitor
The service will focus on Canadian movies as well as Bell Media-owned news, sports and entertainment content
BCE made the informal announcement as a way to combat criticism from the public, on anti-competitive grounds, over the Astral acquisition
BCE bills the service as a "Made in Canada" competitor to global brands, such as Netflix, Amazon and
Apple(AAPL - Get Report). From a public interest standpoint, the company claims the service will provide the necessary scale for increased investment in Canadian content.
I don't have a problem with what BCE and
Rogers Communications(RCI - Get Report) pull off in Canada. It's reactionary to think it will be a disservice to Canadians. To the contrary, it will increase quality and help level the playing field as Canada looks to up its status in the world.