Netflix exec bashes the viewer numbers NBC revealed for its shows like 'Jessica Jones' and 'Master of None' as 'remarkably inaccurate'
During this week's press tour for the Television Critics Association, NBC Universal research exec Alan Wurtzel caused a stir when he revealed Netflix ratings numbers for shows like "Jessica Jones" and "Master of None."
Today, Netflix fired back, calling the data "remarkably inaccurate" (and bashing NBC's own ratings in the process).
Wurtzel had highlighted data from San Francisco tech firm Symphony that showed how many viewers several Netflix and Amazon original shows received, including superhero drama "Jessica Jones", which he said had an average of 4.8 million viewers ages 18-49. The estimates piqued a lot of interest because Netflix has always refused to reveal any of its viewership numbers.
Netflix has long argued that because the company makes money through subscriptions and not advertising, viewership has no reflection on its business and would serve only to stifle creativity.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during his own TCA presentation on Sunday that he hoped NBC didn't "spend any money" on the Symphony research since it was "really remarkably inaccurate data."
"There's a couple of mysteries in play for me," Sarandos continued, according to Business Insider's Jethro Nededog. "One is, why would NBC use their lunch slot with you guys to talk about our ratings? Maybe it's because it's more fun than talking about NBC ratings."
He went on to explain that Netflix doesn't even track demographics like age group, but that it does create shows for niche and broad audiences alike.
"We make shows for 2 million viewers and we make shows for 20 million viewers," he said.
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