Albanian Army marching in Tirana's main square (Photo: Reuters)

 

The Albanian Army is coming everyone, watch out!

We’re only into week 1 of big media companies reporting their quarterly earnings and the most prominent name hasn’t been CBS Corp, Time Warner Inc, Comcast Corp, and Viacom — instead it’s all been about Netflix.

Pretty much on each of these companies’ conference calls, the $4 billion company from Los Gatos, California was a key reason for a boon to the bottom line by supplying  ’found money’ by digital licensing of shows that would have been gathering dust on a shelf somewhere in Hollywood. But also on the calls for several of the same companies, Netflix was seen by analysts as a threat to their future. Let’s not forget the four who reported this week have combined market value of over $160 billion.

At CBS on Tuesday, which most people see as a broadcast and billboards advertising company, the first quarter was given a nice bump from its licensing of old CBS shows like”‘Cheers” but also by newer cable shows like Showtime’s “‘Dexter” and “Sleeper Cell”. Here’s the ever ebullient CBS CEO Les Moonves telling analysts on Tuesday how great Netflix and other copycats are:

“Content is forever and quality content never goes out of style. Nowhere is this more evident than the way we monetize our content digitally. In addition to the deals we struck with Netflix and Amazon, other online video distributors are looking to license our library content. These deals are having a big impact on our financial results, adding meaningful, very high margin dollars to our bottom line”

It was similar over at Time Warner Inc on Wednesday, where the now infamous Albanian Army quip was originally shared by CEO Jeff Bewkes. Asked to spell out the impact of subscription video on-demand services like Netflix going forward, Bewkes essentially said it’s a beautiful thing: