Netflix’s Sarandos: ‘We Get Shock-and-Awe Viewing’ for Big-Budget Originals

Ted Sarandos Netflix
Erik Pendzich/REX Shutterstock

Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos hit back at comments by FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who complained that Netflix was spending far more on programming than TV networks that must keep on an eye on the bottom line.

Landgraf, last week at the Television Critics Association tour, said FX had pursued Aziz Ansari’s comedy “Master of None” and British royals historical drama “The Crown” but lost out to Netflix. “In both cases they overwhelmed us with shock-and-awe levels of money and commitment,” he said.

Sarandos responded Tuesday, first by thanking Landgraf “for endorsing our spending to talent.”

“The only reason we can… in John’s own words, have ‘shock and awe’ spending for a series is because we get shock-and-awe viewing on that series,” Sarandos said on the Netflix earnings call Tuesday.

Netflix’s spending on original content is more efficient than on licensed shows, Sarandos reiterated, meaning the originals are watched significantly more per dollar spent.

“Overspending is relative,” added Sarandos. He said that if relatively expensive shows like Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” and “The Crown” are successful “it’s money well-spent, the way it was for ‘House of Cards” and ‘Orange is the New Black.'”

In 2016, Netflix expects to launch 600 hours of original programming, compared with 450 hours in 2015.

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  1. jedi77 says:

    Am I the only one who is concerned by this.
    Lately the Originals Netflix have produced have been pretty poor (in my households opinion) – and the more they focus on originals, the less they will have licensed streaming of outside content.

    The whole Idea of Netflix (to me) is a plethora of options, from old to new, from NBC to Showtime.
    If Netflix’ plan is to just become Netflix, with no outside content, how interesting are they going to be?

  2. Greggan says:

    Netflix has a different business model than the TV networks. I don’t understand why the network execs continue to try to compare apples to oranges. They betray their own dubious grasp of the current content and distribution landscape.

  3. Cath says:

    And they save series too. “Longmire” this season was great and even though I could have watched it straight through I savored it week by week at my own pace.

  4. icy says:

    Ted FTW!!!

  5. burr says:

    GO TED! 🐻 :D

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