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Consumer News: Netflix's 'House of Cards' Is Its Most-Watched Program

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Plus, EA slashes its outlook on industry concerns.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer companies from around the Web.

CNET
Link: Netflix Viewers Feast on 'House of Cards'
"Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) content chief Ted Sarandos is thrilled with the viewing numbers for 'House of Cards,' but he isn't saying what those numbers are. He allowed that the show is Netflix's leading content in terms of the number of people watching and the hours of engagement. But Netflix doesn't want to get into the maze of TV ratings, given the differences with how broadcast TV is delivered and that 'House of Cards' is ad free. 'It's apples and oranges,' Sarandos said."

Slash Gear
Link: Microsoft Surface Pro Re-Stock Arriving Saturday
"In the first several days of the Microsoft Surface Pro's (NASDAQ:MSFT) life on the market, it was an extremely successful product, selling out in many locations across the United States and online. This week the head of the Microsoft Surface team Panos Panay spoke up about the stock shortage many areas have been experiencing, assuring them that more units are headed to stores this week, with delivery expected by Saturday. This comes shortly after a series of demands for more units to be placed in stores by customers hoping to get their own brand new Surface Pro in one of the first launch days here in the first half of February."

ZDNET
Link: Gartner: Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Fall, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) Stay on Top
"Mobile phone sales declined across the globe by 1.7 percent, according to Gartner.

"The research firm's latest report suggests that difficult economic conditions, shifting consumer interest and intense market competition has resulted in a worldwide drop in sales, which has not declined since 2009."

Reuters
Link: Electronic Arts Slashes 2013 Outlook as Industry Struggles
"Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA) slashed its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast after a weaker-than-expected holiday quarter marked by disappointing sales of its "Medal of Honor" title, as the industry struggles with flagging demand.

"The games maker forecast non-GAAP revenue for the year to end-March of $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion and earnings of $0.86 to $1.00 per share from $1.00 to $1.15 per share previously, down about 13 percent at the mid-point."

The Wall Street Journal
Link: Starz Holds On to Rights for Sony Movies
"Premium cable channel Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) cemented its ability to keep showing movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), extending the current contract to cover movies released through 2021, fending off a rival offer from Netflix Inc.

"Two months ago, Netflix outbid Starz for the rights to Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) movies, which Starz has had since 1993, highlighting how the online video-streaming service is emerging as a potent competitor to traditional premium cable services. Sony was Starz's only other major studio supplier of films, so renewal of the deal was crucial for the channel."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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