After losing more U.S. subscribers than it gained in the second quarter of 2012, Netflix worried NBC's Olympics coverage would slow down new registrations and curb current subscribers' viewing habits in the third quarter.
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Those fears appear to have come to fruition so far: Netflix streaming fell 25% Sunday in the U.S., says analytics firm Procera Networks.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes people's focus on the Olympics will keep people away from Netflix. He expressed the company's concerns in a letter to shareholders on July 24:
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"This quarter the Olympics are likely to have a negative impact on Netflix viewing and sign-ups. ... Our outlook assumes that viewing of the summer Olympics in July will dampen acquisitions across all of our markets."
More than 168 million Americans have watched the Olympics on NBCUniversal networks during the event's first five nights. That's an average of 35.6 million viewers each night — the highest average for any non-U.S. Summer Games in 36 years, NBC reports.
Last week, Netflix said it has 9.24 million DVD subscribers in the U.S., down about 850,000, while domestic streaming subscribers increased slightly from 23.41 million to 23.94 million.
Netflix hopes to combat the Olympics with TV partnerships and original programming. Hastings recently revealed users streamed a record 1 billion hours of Netflix content in June. "When House of Cards and Arrested Development debut, we'll blow these records away," he wrote in a Facebook post.
Earlier this year, Netflix rebounded from its price-hike fiasco in 2011, registering an all-time high 26.48 million subscribers worldwide in Q1 and saying good chunk of angry customers have re-subscribed.
Netflix now boasts 27.56 subscribers worldwide.
This story originally published on Mashable here.