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Netflix CEO: Answer Our Questions (Now)

Stocks in this article: NFLX VIAB WMT AMZN

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX) reports earnings Oct. 21, three days before my daughter's birthday.

She doesn't watch Netflix much anymore, particularly after Viacom's (VIAB) Nickelodeon programming disappeared. That said, I would never let anecdotal evidence cloud my judgment. That said, maybe as a birthday gift for a guy who lives vicariously through his daughter, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings could answer a few questions.

Or maybe Rich Greenfield of BTIG Media can pass them along. For the second quarter in a row, Greenfield "moderates" the call, but not with CNBC's Julia Boorstin this time. The bullish Greenfield rocks the mic with, sit down for this one, a bullish NFLX analyst from JPMorgan.


But I would like more than mere answers, namely because Reed Hastings' answers often suck. Like when Julia asked him why Netflix refuses to report churn. Reed opened the non-answer with his favorite talking point -- We're not like traditional television, so, churn really doesn't matter. In fact, as CEO, I never look at it so neither should you!.

As Netflix desperately vies to become part of the establishment it claims to disrupt -- cable -- maybe Julia or Rich could re-ask this question using this newish angle. I can think of several ways to position the query as to respectfully and logically demand an answer.

But, forget about churn, there are other issues Hastings must not merely answer to, but provide context around.

First, I want him to explain why his company just secured streaming rights to FX's hit series Louie. I purchased the entire season roughly six months ago for $20 through Walmart's (WMT) excellent Vudu platform and could have done the same via's (AMZN) Instant Video.

There's a reason why Netflix gets this type of programming way late, if it ever gets it at all. I know the answer to this question -- see Netflix Riding a Death Spiral to Insolvency -- but I want Reed's version of it, along with something he's reluctant to give . . . context.

Second, I want Reed's take on the sustainability of the company's spending habits. Off-balance sheet debt continues to explode, now at approximately $6.5 billion. That's up about 550% from just over one billion dollars 2.5 years ago.

Then there's the news from AdAge that Netflix is spending like mad across Latin America (to lackluster results). For instance, it blew over $7 million on Internet display ads in Brazil in June alone. That makes the reported $3 million to $4 million Netflix spends per episode on House of Cards look like child's ... actually, no, that's way too much money.

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