RUSH: Have you seen, folks? Have you seen the shock-surprise news that Netflix didn’t meet expectations, has lost a bunch of subscribers and the stock price is way, way down? Have you seen all the news with these financial experts scratching their heads trying to figure it out? They haven’t the foggiest idea?
Well, I will tell you why in mere moments, and I’ll give you the timeline. I’ll tell you exactly why this happened, and I’ll give you a little hint. How many of you have heard about the latest, the greatest Showtime exposition from Sacha Baron Cohen, who was going to embarrass Trump, and he was gonna embarrass Cheney and Sarah Palin. He was gonna give the left everything that they wanted. “He’s got a comedy special that’s gonna illustrate the abject stupidity, the trailer park character of the average Trump voter!”
It was promoted all weekend everywhere in the news, every newspaper, every website, and it was given rave reviews! (pause) Three-hundred thousand viewers. A test pattern at HGTV had more viewers than Sacha Baron Cohen at 10 p.m. Sunday night on Showtime. I mean, even the Drudge Report promoted the heck out of this by linking to all kinds of the reviews and so forth. It had 337,000 viewers. I mean, that’s not even in the top 10. So I will explain all this.
RUSH: Netflix. This is from yesterday. It’s at Yahoo News. It’s a Reuters story. “Netflix’s subscriber growth fell short of Wall Street expectations on Monday, sending shares of the normally high-flying stock down 14 percent on fears that the company’s rapid expansion is slowing. ‘Investors are devastated by Netflix’s Q2 projection that went down in dramatic flames. Now future projections are suspect and that decimates valuation, said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of private equity firm Patriarch. Netflix added 670,000 subscribers in the United States, well below analysts’ estimates of 1.19 million.”
They’re all pulling their hair out trying to figure out what happened. They can’t figure it out. This is one of the biggest mysteries in the history of mysteries. They can’t figure out what happened. Netflix is as popular as ever with viewers, Netflix’s this, Netflix’s that, and there’s no other competitor. What happened? What happened? They can’t figure it out.
Well, let’s go back in time. Back in April, Netflix had their quarterly conference call with the financial media, as all major American corporations do. You have your quarterly call, and you give your quarter results, and then you give guidance for the next quarter so investors will have an idea of what you, the company, think your future looks like.
And companies are held to this. If they give very low guidance and they go through the roof, then the SEC starts saying, “Why are you sandbagging? If you know what your growth is gonna be, you gotta say it.” So they gotta come pretty close in their predictions for the next quarter. So in April on the conference call for the first quarter, they gave guidance for the quarter which they reported on yesterday, three months ago.
Now, three months ago you can bet that Netflix has a good knowledge of what their subscription rate is two to three months in advance. They’ve got all kinds of analytic data that shows them how many subscribers resubscribe, how many cancel, what the new subscriber sign-up rate is. This is all pretty much science. And after so many months and years of study, there’s a pretty good profile of how Netflix is doing new subscribers versus cancellations versus existing subscribers renewing.
And this is what they undershot. They blew it by almost 700,000 subscribers, maybe even more. Now, at the time of the conference call and the announcement last quarter, when they gave guidance, almost exactly at the same time was when they hired three people. They hired Susan Rice from the Obama administration to be on their board, and then they announced the deal with Barack and Michelle Obama for their brand-new original content show, which we were assured would have nothing to do with politics.
This was the Obamas sharing their unique take on America, America’s demographic future, America’s greatest stories, America’s greatest weaknesses. What’s wrong with America, how we gonna fix it. But nothing to do with politics. Remember all that? They hired the Obamas very near the day they reported on their current quarter and gave guidance for the quarter that just ended.
Well, what I remember, when they announced this, Twitter and Facebook lit up with a bunch of people announcing they were canceling Netflix ’cause they wanted no part of the Obamas. It’s not why they watch Netflix. They don’t sign up, they don’t pay Netflix a subscription fee to have political people preach to ’em. They’re fed up already with this Michelle Wolf business up there. They wanted no part of the Obamas.
This is why the stock price tanked because tens of thousands of people canceled their Netflix subscriptions because the Obamas made a deal with ’em. That’s why. That’s all that happened out of the usual. That’s why Netflix was unable to predict it, because they expected the exact opposite. They expected the announcement of the deal with the Obamas to blow up subscriptions ’cause they don’t understand America, either, politically.
There’s no mystery what happened here. And then you go look at the Sacha Baron Cohen, 337,000 viewers for his state-of-the-art, over the top, “we’re gonna embarrass Trump and his voters” special. That’s barely an asterisk in cable prime time ratings on a Sunday night.
RUSH: Showtime is apparently melting down over the failure of Sacha Baron Cohen’s show, and they are lashing out at Sarah Palin for helping to destroy the show by what she had to say about it. See? When they jack us up and when they make fun of us and mock us, we’re supposed to take it and we’re supposed to laugh right along with it. If we push back, nah-nah-nah-nah not permitted. You can’t push back against the left. No, no, no. You must love what they do, even when it is aimed at destroying or harming you.
So Sarah Palin pushed back on it, now Entertainment Weekly has a story on how apparently Showtime is melting down over the poor performance of Sacha Baron Cohen’s, “Who is America” show and blaming Palin for the negative PR. You know, let me tell you something about this. With all the publicity this show got in the three or four days before it aired, that stuff they couldn’t buy.
Sarah Palin ripping it and then others coming out and ripping it, that should have been gold. The American left should have said, “Wow, Palin doesn’t like it, I’m tuning in!” Normally when you have a show that people start trashing and begging other people not to watch, that’s gold, you can’t buy that kind of publicity. I’m stunned that didn’t work. Well, I’m not stunned. ‘Cause I think conservative media consumers are more sophisticated than ever about this stuff, and it’s to the detriment of the left trying to peddle this garbage.