updated 9/15/2011 8:05:56 AM ET 2011-09-15T12:05:56

Netflix is lowering its U.S. subscriber expectations for the third quarter because of customer losses relating to a split of its DVD and streaming options.

The company, which separated its streaming and DVD-by-mail services two months ago, said Thursday it now expects 21.8 million subscribers for its streaming-only service and 14.2 million subscribers to get DVD plans.

That's down from a late July estimate of 22 million streaming customers and 15 million DVD subscribers. It sees the most subscriber decline in DVD-only plans. That forecast went to 2.2 million from 3 million.

It backed its forecast for international subscribers and overall third-quarter earnings.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company said that despite the revision, it thinks the split was the right move.

Shares of Netflix were lately down 16 percent.

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