NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Little known fact: I am hard on Netflix (NFLX) the company and the stock, but I have come to love Netflix the service.
You tell me, but seems that Netflix is much better than it used to be. In 2011, I couldn't stand the company, stock and service -- all three were pathetic. Headed into 2013, only two out of three are bad.
But I'm a guy who doesn't watch much television. Maybe that's why Netflix works as a discovery tool for me.
In the last few months, I have started watching episodes of Weeds (I am obsessed with Mary Louise Parker), Parks and Recreation, Louie CK and plenty of others. Lots of good documentaries. Classic movies I can watch again and stuff I missed because I never go to the theatre.Netflix is perfect for me. But I am so far behind on television. I would pay up to $20 a month for the service. If it ever somehow manages to work a deal to offer NHL Center Ice, fresh HGTV content and live, streaming CNBC, I could easily cut the cord. Not going to happen. It's a bit like a small portion of the population controlling a majority of the wealth. Big media conglomerates control two key areas of television -- sports and other live or first-run programming such CNBC and movies. That makes it impossible for Netflix to ever truly break through, unless of course it really breaks through. But, even if the climate made it possible, Netflix could never afford to offer such a slate. As I explained yesterday (see link in first paragraph), it can barely afford what it has now. The numbers still do not add up. Yet, Netflix claims it will not raise prices. So then what will it do to survive? Outside of massive -- and I mean massive -- domestic and international subscriber growth or additional revenue lines such as advertising, e-commerce and on-demand a la carte options (things Reed Hastings says he 100% opposed to), what can Netflix do? It can sell its DVD division, find a buyer with a ton of cash or go to Wall Street like it did just over a year go for a lifeline. Again, all things Reed Hastings probably can't get quite comfortable with.
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