Netflix Unlikely To Offer Live Sports
"Our fundamental product is on-demand and ad-free, and sports tends to be live and packed with advertising,
Don't expect Netflix to follow in the footsteps of Amazon Prime, Peacock, and other streaming services in offering live sports. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during the latest Netflix earnings report that live sports in general clash with what Netflix is all about.
"Our fundamental product is on-demand and ad-free, and sports tends to be live and packed with advertising," Sarandos said, as reported by Deadline.
Netflix of course has been asked about acquiring live sports programming a lot over the years. Sarandos reiterated that acquiring the rights to live sports is wildly expensive, and he believes that money could be spent better elsewhere.
"What is the best use of about $10 billion? I think that's what it's going to cost to invest meaningfully in big-league sports. That pricing has only gone up since I started saying that," he said.
Earlier this year, rival Amazon paid $10 billion to acquire some NFL broadcast rights. For its part, Netflix seems to be more interested in spending big money on investing in new movies and shows.
But might Netflix look to buy the rights to smaller-scale sports? Sarandos doesn't think so. "I don't know that those sports suffer from being under-distributed," he said. "So, I don't know that we'd bring that much to them."
Sarandos said Netflix will continue to invest in "sports-adjacent" programming like the documentaries The Last Dance, Deaf U, and Formula 1: Drive to Survive. He said these types of shows can "build enthusiasm" around sports content in general. He pointed out that Drive to Survive led to a surge in ticket sales, TV ratings, and merch revenue for F1.
In other news, Netflix confirmed plans to offer video games for free, while the company also listed off its top-performing movies and TV shows.