Netflix softens stance against live sports involvement

Netflix has "ever so slightly adjusted its public posture on live sports of late," now saying that it "would be interested if it could acquire global rights and be the exclusive home of a given sport around the world," according to Lucas Shaw of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Netflix "has always cited cost as a big reason it doesn’t want to offer live sports." The company can make "dozens of docuseries for less than it would cost to show a single season of games from a sport like the NFL." Netflix co-Founder & CEO Reed Hastings "left the door open to buying the rights to a sport like Formula One." Netflix also "held talks with the WWE about international rights the last time those were available." Those talks did not lead to a deal, but it is "hard not to believe that sports is somewhere in the future." Netflix VP/Unscripted Originals & Acquisitions Brandon Riegg said, "We've been very consistent and public about not getting into live sports. That said, sports is a huge category. Part of our remit is to serve as many audiences as we can. We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we weren't accommodating something in the sports space." Should Netflix ever decide it wants to show live sports, these docuseries are the "best proof point that it can deliver eyeballs" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/16).

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