‘The Punisher’ is back on Netflix, but he may not survive 2019
“Daredevil” had faced declining viewership, according to a Screen Rant article that used data analytics from Jumpshot. Kia Afra, a Chapman University professor and the author of “The Hollywood Trust: Trade Associations and the Rise of Studio System,” said the ratings were likely the reason “Daredevil” was canceled, and he said “The Punisher'” had weak numbers as well.
“The Punisher” season 1 had a 70 on Jumpshot’s Index, but recent reports using Jumpshot data indicate its second season has experienced a decline of 40 percent. That’s not as severe a decline as other Marvel shows canceled by Netflix.
“Daredevil’ season 2 scored a 100, but its third season dropped to a 43.
Marvel and Netflix did not respond to requests for comment.
Jumpshot does not have direct access to Netflix viewership data but monitors traffic on electronic devices, as many as 100 million globally. Netflix — which has close to 140 million subscribers globally and just under 60 million in the U.S. — rarely releases any ratings information, and when it does has tended to cherry pick ratings for series or films that have done well, such as its recent surprise hit series “You” and Sandra Bullock film “Bird Box.”
On its recent January earnings call, Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann described the limited viewership data the company releases as being less financial than cultural as a metric. “So that what does it mean when 80 million households watch ‘Bird Box’? Well, culturally it means exactly the same thing as 80 million plus people buying a movie ticket to seeing it or 80 million households watching a TV show. So culturally, it’s meaningfully out there. People talking about it, tweeting about it, posting about it … But really what’s important is that for part of your Netflix subscription, you’re in the Zeitgeists, you’re – you get – you’re watching the programming that the rest of the world is loving at the same time.”
Netflix has dismissed third-party ratings estimates in the past, with its chief content officer Ted Sarandos once saying unauthorized ratings numbers didn’t “reflect any sense of reality that we keep track of.”
At this point, ratings — or a petition signed by 200,000 Daredevil fans — probably won’t matter much in the grand scheme of this partnership or in the decisions of the executives on each side, Afra said. Afra noted that the weakening of the relationship between Netflix and Marvel Studios comes at a time when Marvel’s parent company, Disney, is planning to launch its own streaming service.
“This is really about two companies, Netflix and Marvel, that are in the process of ending their partnership. Each one has to weigh what advantages there are in keeping the co-productions going for another season or pulling the plug,” Afra said. “There is likely no future for them on Netflix.”
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