Many cult hits are often science fiction shows, which are also often the most DVR’d shows on television. This also plays into the low ratings and advertising woes. DVR does not matter in the Netflix universe.
Firefly averaged about 4.5 million viewers when it was on the air in 2002. Let’s say that Netflix could convert just 500,000 of those to paying customers (who weren’t previously) in order to continue watching the show. That would be a half million people paying at least $8 a month. That’s $4 million a month in revenue. And $48 million a year. And you can assume most would end up as multi-year subscribers.
The Netflix model could be a path to new shows for Stargate SG1, SG Atlantis and SG Universe. There would then also be the secondary revenue sources (DVDs, foreign markets, etc…)