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Is Netflix the Next HBO If Nobody Watches?

Hastings tells us we're seeing great success with original programming. We're just supposed to trust the guy.

As Rogowsky astutely points out, you have other media outlets anointing Netflix "the new HBO" but ...

Let's be clear on something. Netflix has 29 million domestic subscribers, which makes it slightly larger than HBO in the U.S. But the latter accounted for around $1 billion in profits last year while Netflix made all of $17 million. And while we know a hit like Game of Thrones averaged 13.6 million viewers this season between broadcast showings, on-demand and HBO Go because, well, independent ratings data and HBO tell us, we haven't got a clue about anything on Netflix.
Netflix supposedly drives its original programming decisions based on all the user data it gathers from viewers. It claims that it knew House of Cards would be a hit because subscribers love director David Fincher and the actor Kevin Spacey ...
Somehow, it knew to green-light a second of Orange before the first one aired. Now the showrunner for Orange is a woman named Jenji Kohan who created Weeds for Showtime ... Giving Kohan a vote of confidence is fine. But what's the point of having all this viewer data if you're going to just renew a program before anyone streams even one episode?
And it should scare Netflix that she's already planning to turn the story of a woman who served a 15-month prison sentence into an indefinite saga. ""I feel confident that we can stretch this s-- out forever," Kohan said.

Rogowsky nails it.

As usual, at Netflix, there's something fishy going on. A whole bunch of simply don't add up. The refusal to provide data. The decision to renew a show before it airs even though you claim the data you refuse to release drives these types of decisions.

Believe me when I tell you, there's likely more disorder at Netflix in 2013 than there was in 2011. The worst thing that could happen for overzealous investors is a strong earnings report on July 24. If you haven't taken profits yet, you might want to consider doing it on July 25 whether NFLX pops or drops. NFLX permabulls ridiculed me right around this time of the year in 2011 for predicting disaster; learn from our history or get set to repeat it.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Stock quotes in this article: NFLX, TWX 
Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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