Netflix’s Sarandos calls ‘peak TV’ an ‘analog' concept

Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos

The notion that there are too many original series across broadcast, pay-TV and over-the-top platforms and not enough viewers to support them is an “analog concept,” according to Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos. 

“It’s like saying you’d eat too much at the buffet—you only eat what you want," Sarandos said at the Vanity Fair Summit in Beverly Hills Tuesday, an event covered by Deadline Hollywood and other publications. 

The idea of "peak TV” first entered the TV industry’s public consciousness in 2014, when FX Network President Jon Landgraf, unwittingly citing a term used in the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences magazine “Emmy,” lamented what he felt was an unsustainable number of originals.

With Netflix planning to spend $7 billion on content next year, Landgraf has been joined by a chorus of other traditional media executives, who suspect the SVOD service is embarking on a loss-leader strategy to grow its global subscriber base—a maverick financial goal for the TV industry. 

"More is not better, only better is better," HBO CEO Richard Plepler told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday. "It is very hard to create outstanding content, and we think we have a good record of doing that very, very well. We're not trying to create the most, we're trying to create excellence across our categories—and we have more than the resources necessary to do that."

Plepler added, “"There's a surfeit of content out there. Some of it is good. Some of it is mediocre. Some is not so good."