NBC Hired a Tech Firm to Find Netflix’s Ratings, Because It’s Obsessed With Them

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Jessica Jones. Photo: MYLES ARONOWITZ

You know how sometimes, after a breakup, you stalk your ex's Instagram photos to see if she's got a new man? And you know how, after that, you'll keep finding ways to drive past her house to see if there's another car in her driveway? And you know how, other times, you'll hire a PI to trail her every movement? That's how NBC feels about Netflix's ratings, which the streaming giant infamously keeps under wraps. The network is so obsessed with finding out just how many people are watching Netflix shows that it hired a tech company to use audio recognition software to get viewership estimates for a handful of streaming shows, and then announced its findings onstage Wednesday during a presentation at the TCAs. If these results are true — which, we assume, Netflix will say they aren't — Jessica Jones saw an average audience of 4.8 million viewers per episode, which according to these numbers makes it roughly as popular as American Crime; Narcos landed at 3.2 million per episode, a little less than Sleepy Hollow; and Master of None came in with an even 3 million, near Last Man on Earth. (Amazon's Man in the High Castle reportedly had 2.1 million viewers per episode, about the same as Truth Be Told.) Again, it's unclear how seriously we should take these numbers, but, regardless, this is possibly the shadiest thing we've ever seen.