Cord-cutting is “no big calamity” for the cable industry, at least not if you ask Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. During a CNBC interview Wednesday, Hastings asserted that the rate at which Americans are cutting the cord is slow. “If you look at cord-cutting, it is like 2-3 percent per year, like broadcast ratings over the last 30 years,” he said. “It will take a very long, slow, secular decline. No big calamity. And then they will adjust the economics.” He added that pricing—not Netflix—is the main reason consumers are cutting the cord.
Hastings also addressed the FCC’s proposed rollback of the 2015 net neutrality regulations, saying that while such a change would be “unfortunate,” it would not be all that significant because “the principles of net neutrality are very well accepted by all the large ISPs around the world.” Cable would like that embroidered on throw pillows. Hastings added that given its stature, Netflix is relatively “insulated” from the impact of a Title II rollback compared to smaller firms. Regarding Netflix’s growth prospects, Hastings pushed back against the idea that the SVOD service is nearing a saturation point the U.S. “If we kept the product the same, we said no more improvements, then we would saturate. But we are continuing to improve Netflix.”