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When the history of video programmers is written, today may be a key date.

It’s the day when Netflix CEO and founder Reed Hastings posted on Facebook that his company squeaked past the legendary HBO in subscription revenue.

Netflix's Reed Hastings tweaks HBO on Facebook

Above: Netflix’s Reed Hastings tweaks HBO on Facebook

Image Credit: Facebook

The current tally: Netflix’s $1.146 billion to HBO’s $1.141 billion, as Netflix was boosted by its increase in non-U.S. subscribers.

Of course, there are a few mitigating factors.

“They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy’s, but we are making progress,” Hastings acknowledges.

More specifically, that’s over half a billion dollars in profit last quarter for HBO, versus Netflix’s slightly more than $70 million.

The “Silicon Valley” reference in Hastings’ post is the HBO comedy series of that name, which skewered the physical and cultural landscape where Netflix lives.

Netflix is the poster child for the “over-the-top” or web-based video providers, while HBO is the poster child for the Pay TV establishment. Still, the two are becoming more alike as Netflix produces more and more original programming and HBO looks for more ways to distribute its content online.

As Netflix head of content Ted Sarandos once quipped, “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”


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