Nathan Ingraham over at The Verge reports from the 2012 Cable Show where Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, spoke on a panel alongside cable executives:
While Sarandos didn’t issue a firm denial, his response made it pretty clear that he didn’t believe Netflix was to blame for Nickelodeon’s troubles. He noted that the Netflix programming strategy “is mostly around high engagement, and we get there through personalization. And because of that, people’s tastes are so diverse that no specific network or no specific show has such high viewing concentration that you’d see that kind of cause and effect on ratings.” Still, he was quick to point out a counter-example that gives Netflix some credibility with the networks, saying that “in the gap between season four and season five [of Mad Men], we brought maybe a million new viewers to AMC for the new season.” He believes that Netflix played a role by giving viewers “a good opportunity, and a well-priced model and well-distributed model to catch up on the show.”
Oh, okay. There’s no way to track cause and effect, but Netflix is the reason Mad Men got a million new viewers this season. Sounds reasonable.