Expensive things: Netflix raising $2 billion to buy more shows

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Netflix is tapping bond markets to raise $2 billion to fund new programming.
Netflix is tapping bond markets to raise $2 billion to fund new programming. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Netflix is once again turning to Wall Street to raise $2 billion for new programming as the streaming-video giant seeks to maintain its torrid subscriber growth.

Netflix is going on a spending spree that will put it more than $10 billion in debt for the first time as it continues to pay for original shows. Netflix has been able to sustain such free-wheeling borrowing and spending thanks to its soaring subscriber count and valuation, which has reached $140 billion, up 70 percent this year.

The streaming darling, known for producing hits like "Stranger Things" and "13 Reasons Why," will raise the $2 billion in a bond offering that can go toward keeping up its content library. The company said last week that it expects to burn about $3 billion in cash this year as it continues to prioritize original series and movies.

Netflix is now up to more than 137 million subscribers worldwide, but it is facing stronger competition as traditional media companies enter the streaming world.

Walt Disney Co. plans to release streaming apps that deliver its shows and movies, including sports channels, direct to consumers. Meanwhile, Disney also is finishing its deal to buy 21st Century Fox, which will give it even greater control over the most popular film and television franchises. Also, AT&T now owns Time Warner and HBO, and hopes to challenge Netflix in streaming, too.

—Bloomberg News and AdAge Staff

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