Netflix CEO: 'We get addicted ... to beating our own numbers'

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shrugged off the company's 700,000 subscriber shortfall for the most recent quarter.

"We get addicted sometimes to beating our own numbers. So, for the last three quarters we underestimated our growth and overperformed," Hastings told CNBC. "This quarter, it was the other side."

Investors reacted to the disappointing subscriber growth and lower-than-expected fourth-quarter projections by sending Netflix shares plunging in after-hours trading.

Read MoreNetflix shares down 26% as subscribers disappoint

Hastings blamed the subscriber stumble on a price increase in May.

The CEO was eager to weigh in on the big news that HBO plans to launch a rival streaming-only service next year. He insisted he's not concerned, saying, "It's exciting ... we compete with them like baseball and football compete."

On the heels of Netflix's launch into France and Europe, as well as other European markets, Hastings wouldn't reveal how many new subscribers have joined, just saying "it's been a great launch."