Netflix Ranked No. 2 TV Network in Popularity

Netflix is ranked the second most-popular TV network behind Discovery Channel, according to new data from YouGov.

In a survey of more than 5,500 adults through May 28, Redwood City, Calif.-based YouGov found 76% of respondents viewed Netflix favorably — about the same as Discovery Channel.

Other channels in the Top 10 included National Geographic Channels, History, The Weather Channel, Animal Planet, PBS, AMC Networks, A&E Networks and FX. TNT, HBO, ABC, CBS ranked 12th-15th, respectively.

The findings come as support for the subscription streaming video pioneer has fallen 16% among Republicans, while increasing 15% among Democrats.

While Netflix has largely avoided politics, it’s two most prominent executives — Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos — are Democrats. Sarandos’ wife Nicole was U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas during the Obama Administration. The couple gave more than $500,000 to the Obama presidential campaign in 2012.

The Sarandos were also largely responsible for convincing Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to recently ink a production deal with the SVOD behemoth.

Earlier this year, Netflix signed former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice to its board of directors.

Netflix cut its teeth in the political talk show genre with Chelsea Chandler’s “Chelsea,” which streamed for two years through 2017. It now hosts a periodic talk show format series with David Letterman, whose first guest was Barack Obama.

Last month, it started streaming “The Break with Michelle Wolf,” a late-night talk show starring the comic who infamously savaged the press and White House, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, during the White House Correspondents Dinner in April.

That said, only 5% of YouGov respondents viewed Netflix negatively, with 17% neutral and 2% claiming to have never heard of Netflix.

Speaking at the New York Paley Center for Media May 29, Sarandos responded to allegations Netflix skews toward the left politically.

“This is not The Obama Network,” said Sarandos, as reported by Variety. “There’s no political slant to the programming.”

 

Netflix Worth More Than Comcast, Disney on Wall Street

Thanks to a record stock price, subscription streaming video behemoth Netflix quietly ended May 23 with a market value exceeding Comcast for the first time.

The same Comcast that owns NBC Universal, DreamWorks Animation and wants to own 20th Century Fox Film and British satellite TV operator Sky.

Netflix ended the day with market capitalization of $149 billion, which bested Comcast’s $147 billion market cap. Netflix opened May 24 up to $151.8 billion, which passed Disney’s $151.7 billion market cap.

With more than 125 million subscribers globally, Netflix continues to grow. The service expects to add 6.2 million subs in the second quarter ending June 30.

The service also continues to expand its creative product with the bow of “Dear White People,” “The Break with Michelle Wolf” on May 27, and announcement of future projects with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The latter drew some pushback on social media, with several subscribers saying on Twitter they would cancel their service, according to Fortune.

Apparently, President Obama’s desire to “cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples and help them share their stories with the entire world,” being an affront to some.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the Obamas are “uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better.”

And Wall Street agrees — for now.

Bob Iger for President? Disney CEO ‘Seriously’ Considered 2020 Campaign Run

Appalled by the nation’s bitter political divide and the current occupant of the White House, Disney CEO Bob Iger considered running for president in the 2020 election.

The political aspiration, outlined in a Vogue profile, was cut short after Disney’s $52.4 billion acquisition of select 21st Century Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox, require Igor remain CEO through 2021.

Iger, who has repeatedly announced/cancelled retirement dates, actually thought about running in 2016, against the advice of his wife, Willow Bay. He has been Disney CEO since 2005.

“The thought I had was coming from the patriot in me, growing up at a time when we respected our politicians not only for what they stood for but because of what they accomplished,” Iger said.

Declaring himself to be “horrified at the state of politics in America today,” Iger contends there exists the opportunity for a presidential candidate who is more “open-minded” and willing to govern in a bi-partisan manner that would “shame everyone else into going to the middle.”

He reportedly has pushed Disney units Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm to diversify lead characters, and was a big supporter in the production of box office hit Black Panther, which features a predominantly black cast and was filmed almost entirely in Atlanta.

When local law makers sought to pass “religious freedom” legislation that would have enabled businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, Iger publicly warned Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal that such a move would see Disney relocate its production business out-of-state. The bill was scuttled.

“On the business side, there is a case to be made for your product reflecting the world you’re trying to do business in,” Iger said. “But of course, there’s also an ethical side.”

Notably, Iger’s business stances run both ways. He was one of the first high-profile CEOs to quit Trump’s business advisory panel after the president announced U.S. plans to exit the Paris climate accord.

In 2016, Iger came under fire from Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – a longtime critic of economics favoring the nation’s top 1% — when he accused Disney of paying Disneyland employees unlivable wages, among other labor-saving actions, while reaping billions in quarterly profit.

Iger, whose compensation at Disney ranks among the highest in corporate America, lashed back in a Facebook post.

“To Bernie Sanders: We created 11,000 new jobs at Disneyland in the past decade, and our company has created 18,000 in the U.S. in the last five years. How many jobs have you created? What have you contributed to the U.S. economy?”

Notably, Disney shareholders last month – in a non-binding vote – rejected an executive compensation plan that would pay Iger upwards of $48.5 million annually over the next four years, in addition to a $100 million equity grant.

Disney’s board has not made a final ruling on Iger’s compensation package.