In a massive boost to Netflix’s (NFLX) original programming endeavor, the video streaming company recently won 31 nominations for the 66th annual Emmy Awards. Per The Wall Street Journal, the number of nominations was higher than AMC Network (AMCX), Showtime, Comedy Central and Fox.
Last year, out of 14 nominations, Netflix had won 3 awards. This year, its original show House of Cards received nomination for the second consecutive time in the category of best drama. The show will face stiff competition from HBO’s much acclaimed series Game of Thrones, which has received 19 nominations.
The other contenders include HBO’s True Detective along with AMC Network’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad Finale series. PBS’s Downton Abbey will also compete in the same category. Netflix’s another original series Orange is the New Black received 12 nominations and will compete for the best comedy award.
The annual Emmy Awards recognize the best shows and talents in the television industry much like the Oscar in the movie industry. Although Netflix lags Time Warner’s HBO in terms of number of nominations, the feat is no doubt commendable considering the fact that the company entered original programming only last year.
In such a scenario, a number of Emmy wins will boost Netflix’s competitive position against HBO and new entrants like Amazon.com (AMZN). We believe that continuing investments in original productions will attract subscribers in the coming years.
Netflix’s upcoming productions like Marco Polo, Grace and Frankie and kid shows like The Magic School Bus 360 degrees is expected to add new subscribers while retaining the older ones. Not only dramas and comedy, the company is also looking to expand its documentary and chat show portfolio.
Netflix recently signed a deal with renowned comedian and actress, Chelsea Handler, to create a new talk-show slated for a 2016 launch. The deal also includes a stand-up special along with four docu-comedy specials, all featuring Chelsea.
Netflix’s partnerships with major film studios and production houses like The Wachowskis (creators of The Matrix trilogy), J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), Gaumont International, Sony Pictures, The Weinstein Company and Walt Disney (DIS) are also expected to further expand its content library in the long haul.
Although rising content costs and expenditure related to international expansion are the major headwinds, we believe that fast growing subscriber base will drive the top line this year. Additionally, Netflix’s recent price increases (for both domestic and international new users) will help the company offset higher expenses in the near term.
Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).