HBO has stopped supplying Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) with discounted DVDs of it shows as of January 1, 2012. The move will not impact Netflix viewers as the company will still be able to acquire the discs from other sources, although probably not at cheaply. HBO is responsible for such hit shows as “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood.”
The move by HBO is likely a rebuttal to comments made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings during a conference in New York last month. Hastings was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter on December 6, when he called HBO his primary competition.
“They’re not competing directly with us, but they can. We’ll push each other like two runners.” Apparently the move by HBO is their first push.
This isn’t the first time the companies have faced off. CNET’s Greg Sandoval recalled previous affronts made by HBO such as when, “Bewkes chided the press for making too much of Netflix’s emergence and said that to say such a small company could revamp video distribution was a little like the Albanian army taking over the world.” Now Bewkes has adopted the motto “actions speak louder than words.”
Shares of Netflix recently traded at $79.30. They have traded in a 52-week range of $62.37 to $304.79. The company’s trailing P/E is 18.02, while trailing earnings are $4.40 per share.