Netflix Scores with 'Arrested' Binge Viewing, Stocks Still Slump

Netflix Scores with 'Arrested' Binge Viewing, Stocks Still Slump

The fictional Bluth family got some good–and bad–news this week. How typical of a TV clan known for its absurdly comic highs and lows.

Netflix’s fourth season debut of Arrested Development, the cult comedy hit which struggled through three seasons on broadcast television, lit up streaming devices nationwide.

According to technology company Procera Networks, which measures broadband usage, one DSL network had 36 percent of devices watching Netflix on Sunday night when the company released 15 new episodes of the Mitch Hurwitz comedy. That was three times the number for Netflix previous high-profile original entry House of Cards. 

And preliminary numbers from Procera show that 10 percent of viewers watched to episode 15 – underscoring the binge viewing propensity of streaming users.

The streaming giant doesn’t release viewing figures on its programming. Yet those independent numbers didn’t allay Wall Street’s views on the company’s much-hyped content.

The company is betting a lot on original series, and “Arrested Development” is one of the brightest stars in its lineup. But shares of Netflix were down as much as 6% in midday trade Tuesday, the first trading day after the episodes were posted online.