The most-watched cable network in the US today is only broadcast online.

On his public Facebook page, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed that subscribers watched four billion hours of content on Netflix in the first quarter.  One Wall Street analyst declared that the company is “now likely the most-watched cable network.”

Netflix users are watching an average of about 87 minutes of Netflix content per day, per household, “essentially in line with Disney Channel,” said Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research. AlthoughNetflix is popular worldwide( Greenfield estimates that there were about 28 million Netflix streamers in the first quarter), the vast majority of that watching is done in the U.S.

Netflix’s high viewership is buoyed by its stores of films and television programs, and more recently by original content like the critically acclaimed House of Cards and, in May, the Netflix-fueled revival of Arrested Development.

“After failing to live up to subscriber growth expectations in 2012, the question facing investors is whether Netflix’s continued ramp in programming investment is paying off,” Greenfield wrote. “With streaming per sub per day continuing to tick higher…we presume churn is continuing to fall – implying that the price/value of a Netflix subscription is increasing.”

Netflix stock rose four percent Thursday to $173.01 and has more than tripled in six months

Advertisements