Netflix Boss Ted Sarandos Defends Ratings Secrecy: ‘It Has No Reflection on Our Business’

TCA: Streaming media company’s chief content officer also discusses where it stands on “The Interview” talks and upcoming originals

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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos once again defended the company’s decision not to release viewing numbers during his opening address at Wednesday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.

“It has no reflection on our business in any way,” Sarandos told reporters. “I know it frustrates you, but we’re going to stay away from it for as long as we can.”

He further explained that Netflix doesn’t need to furnish those numbers, because it doesn’t have to answer to advertisers or explain carriage fees like other TV providers do.

While the numbers are secret, he did talk about the habits of Netflix viewers. As opposed to the network TV model, a typical Netflix viewer will watch one show at a time, from beginning to end. That’s not earth-shattering news as we’ve known that Netflix has helped to make binge-watching popular.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it aimed to produce about 20 new series a year going forward. That would include its group of Marvel offerings, as well as “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, “Bloodline” from the “Damages” producer and comedy “Grace and Frankie” starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

As to reported talks between Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sarandos said very little. “There’s nothing to talk about,” he said.

He did go on to say that “The Interview” was a good example of how multiple distribution platforms can create a lot of revenue for films. He didn’t deny that Netflix would like to stream the movie at some point.

There wasn’t much more information on other projects coming to Netflix. For example, the planned series based on the movie “Wet Hot American Summer.”

“I’m gonna have to leave you hanging on that one,” Sarandos said. “We’re really excited by the proposition of getting that one back together. More to come.”

And after reviving cult hit “Arrested Development,” Sarandos said that he’s optimistic about another season, but the difficulty lies in booking the very busy actors.

“Everyone is trying to make it happen,” he noted.