21st Century Fox Inc.

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  executive John Landgraf took issue with data Netflix Inc. recently released on viewership of its movies and series, saying the information creates a false impression of the streaming-video company’s success.

“Netflix is not telling you the whole story,” Landgraf, chief executive of FX Networks, said at the semiannual Television Critics Association gathering in Pasadena, Calif. Its recent ratings releases are “not a remotely accurate representation,” he said.

In its most recent quarterly letter to shareholders, Netflix

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  said it estimated its stalker drama “You” would be “watched by over 40 million member households in its first four weeks” on the platform. Netflix said “Sex Education,” a British comedy, would post similar numbers. Those 40 million would watch at least 70% of one episode, the company said.

Those numbers suggest the shows are as popular as HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Landgraf said, but if the figures were expressed in the terms that are the TV industry’s standard — the average audience in any minute — the ratings would be significantly lower, he said. Landgraf said those numbers create a false narrative about the popularity of the shows within the media and the general public. “By reporting their singles as if they were homers and failing to ever report a single strikeout, they undercut an accurate perception of their batting average,” he said.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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