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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Netflix CEO Calls Live Sports a ‘Loss Leader’

  • Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos explained why the company still holds no live sports rights.
  • He remained open to the right opportunity, should it drive profits.
Netflix logo on top of building
Netflix

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos revealed why the world’s biggest streaming service doesn’t offer live sports.

“We’ve not seen a profit path to renting big sports,” Sarandos said on Tuesday at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York City. 

While noting that Netflix isn’t completely closing the door on a favorable opportunity, Sarandos characterized live sports as “dramatically expensive” and essentially a “loss leader.”

  • The company scored $7.9 billion in third-quarter revenue and $1.4 billion in net income.
  • While Netflix has been profitable every quarter this year, other major streaming networks — such as Disney’s bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu — have yet to turn a profit. 
  • Netflix had 223 million subscribers as of October.

“We’re not anti-sports,” said Sarandos. “We’re just pro-profit.”

Netflix

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Window Shopping

Sarandos’ comments cut against previous reporting that Netflix had looked to acquire rights to tennis tours as well as purchasing the World Surf League. It also looked into nabbing Formula 1 rights before ESPN signed a three-year contract for $75 million to $90 million annually.

Netflix confirmed in May that it will renew its hit F1 series “Drive to Survive” for a fifth and sixth season. The streamer is also working with “Drive to Survive” producer Box to Box on a series covering top tennis players and the Grand Slam events.

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