Netflix gets creative with sports streaming

Love is Blind fans may never forgive Netflix for the outage that spoiled the live reunion, but the company is ready to venture back into live programming… only this time, with sports. 

Driving the news: Netflix reportedly plans to live-stream its first sporting event this fall: a celebrity golf tournament featuring professional golfers and Formula One drivers from two of its hit sports docuseries, Drive to Survive and Full Swing, per The Wall Street Journal. 

  • The talks are still in the early stages, but the company has said it’s been waiting for the right moment to get into the difficult and high-stakes game of sports streaming. 

Why it matters: Netflix has largely stayed away from competing for sports streaming deals with the likes of Apple or Amazon. A planned tournament piggybacking on its own content would allow Netlifx to dabble in live sports without having to shell out billions of dollars. 

  • In the past, Netflix has (unsuccessfully) bid for live US streaming rights to Formula One, and has bid or considered competing for rights to tennis and cycling events. 

Bottom line: Netflix may have just figured out how to get into sports in a way that actually makes money and can support the company’s growing ads business. In Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos’ words, Netflix has never been anti-sports, but “pro-profit.”—SB