Netflix won’t be live streaming Formula 1 races, professional tennis tournaments or PGA Tour events anytime soon. But the company does plan to continue leaning into the niche it has created with sports-related documentaries such as Formula 1: driving to survive, breaking point And Full swing.
“We’re in the sports business, but we’re in the part where we add the most value, which is the drama of sports,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Wednesday during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. I also quote the shows above Quarterback and the recently released Beckham – which has been the top English-language series on the streamer for the past two weeks – Sarandos added: “We are having a big impact on the sport through what we do best, which is the drama.”
The question arose because Netflix announced its first live sporting event a day earlier: a nine-hole golf match called The Netflix Cupwith stars from Drive to survive And Full swing. The made-for-streaming event has echoes of The matcha creation of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports in which athletes from different sports play a round of golf – and, crucially for Netflix, such an event doesn’t require you to pay a hefty rights fee for a competition.
“I see it as a great way to expand the great drama of sports brands that we have created,” Sarandos said.
“But (there is) no core change to our live sports strategy or the licensing of live sports.
Should the Netflix Cup (the streamer’s third-ever live event) go smoothly, Sarandos said there could be room for more like this in the future. “We’re investing heavily in live capabilities,” he said, “so as the demand for that grows and we find different ways for the live-ness to be part of creative storytelling, we want to be able to do that at scale. ”