"House of Cards" isn't a "free" show—you still have to pay for Netflix to see it the same as you would to watch "Breaking Bad." But Netflix itself is the primary distributor, and it outbid HBO, AMC and all the rest to make it the streaming service's first original programming, launching the entire first season back on Feb. 1.
So, yeah, it's probably a good idea for Netflix and the show's writers to come up with some creative ways to make that money back. They should be a little less ... awkward than this, though. Then again, unless you're Foghorn Leghorn, everything said in a fake Southern accent sounds awkward.
[Update] Viewers of the show say that "House of Cards" frequently breaks the fourth wall, so this placement and its forced introduction is likely deliberate and keeping with its themes.