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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 12th, 2013
06:08 PM ET

Netflix is good, but it's no HBO

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted on his Facebook page that Netflix subscribers used the service for 4 billion hours over the last three months.

That's like watching the movie "White Chicks" 2.2 billion times. We did the math because we like to be thorough here.

An analyst with BTIG calculates that this likely makes Netflix the most watched cable network, even though it isn't really a cable network. Another sign that Netflix is taking over the home entertainment industry?

"Four billion hours as a number is impressive, there's no question, but it's a bit out of context,"said Rocco Pendola, columnist for TheStreet.com. Pendola adds he questions the math BTIG used to get to the numbers, saying it does not include outliers.

"Like the parents who plop their kids in front of the TV for six hours to watch cartoons all afternoon [and] the people who do this binge viewing," said Pendola. "That throws off the average a little bit."

"It isn't surprising that they're up 25 percent. Cable watching is up ... video on demand is also up by about 40 percent, so it's really up across the board, and Netflix is just participating in that upside," said Pendola.

Netflix is now creating its own content, with series like "House of Cards," "Hemlock Grove," and a reboot of "Arrested Development." There are a lot of comparisons to HBO, comparisons that Pendola said are "absolutely not" fair.

HBO's massive was built over decades, not overnight says Pendola.

"It's just pure arrogance on the part of Reed Hastings to think that they could come out with "Sex and the City," "The Sopranos," "The Wire," all these shows one after the other, which is what they have to do," said Pendola.

""Hemlock Grove" is getting awful reviews," said Pendola of Netflix's current original series. "And "Arrested Development" isn't going to be the second coming."

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