Netflix (NFLX) CEO Hastings Will Probably Skip Watching the Olympics

July 25, 2012 9:48 AM EDT
Been training for years in an effort to win gold in an international competition on the world's stage? Push yourself to the limits through sun, rain, warm, and cold climates to be the best? Think everyone appreciates that?

Think again.

According to a letter issued Tuesday, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) founder the CEO Reed Hastings noted how the 2012 London Olympics are likely to "have a negative impact on Netflix viewing and sign-ups." Currently, Hastings sees third-quarter net adds of 1 million to 1.8 million, and landing at the higher-end of that range will keep Netflix on track for 7 million domestic net adds in 2012.

For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Hastings had this in response to an analyst question on how sub metrics were affected: "Well, it's hard for us to gauge the Beijing 2008 Olympics because we had a 3-day DVD outage right at the same time. I would say that we did feel some impact and there's uncertainty around whether that impact is permanent, meaning it's just a permanent reduction in acquisitions or if it's just a deferral through the games. So I would say that through the first 3 weeks of 2012, we would have expected to be above 2010 levels, and what we're seeing is that we're nearly at 2010 levels, so it gave us some more uncertainty in terms of what Q3 would look like in terms of being at a 2010 level of 1.8 million net addition."

The Olympics will be broadcast by NBCUniversal, of Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and General Electric (NYSE: GE). NBCU is also teaming up with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications (NYSE: COX). Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ), AT&T U-Verse (NYSE: T), and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) to broadcast about 5,535 hours of coverage for the 17-day event, or 325 hours per day.

Netflix is down over 18 percent in early trading Wednesday, following second-quarter results and outlook.

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