Netflix didn’t waste much time lining up its second live sports broadcast after its debut in the space with last month’s Netflix Cup golf event.
Next up for the streamer will be the Netflix Slam, a tennis event featuring Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz battling in Las Vegas on March 3. Other tennis matches will be included, with participants to be announced at a later date.
As the biggest streamer without a live sports broadcast package, Netflix has repeatedly pushed back on the idea that it will be a regular bidder for future media rights, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Netflix wants more live sports — in its own way.
The Netflix Slam will be produced by the same company that helmed last month’s golf broadcast and it will feature a similar strategy of utilizing the streamer’s existing partnerships. Nadal and Alcaraz were each briefly featured during Season 1 of Netflix’s Break Point docuseries, which followed the ATP and WTA tours. The Netflix Cup featured several athletes from Formula 1’s Drive to Survive and the PGA Tour’s Full Swing shows. Don’t be surprised if more Break Point stars, such as Taylor Fritz or Frances Tiafoe, end up competing in Las Vegas, too.
“We are investing heavily in increasing our live capabilities so that as the demand grows for that and we find different ways, the liveness can be part of the creative storytelling,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during the company’s most recent earnings call.
A recent report also linked Netflix to a potential boxing broadcast featuring Jake Paul, who has a documentary on the streaming service, as well as Premier Boxing Champions, which just signed a new media rights deal with rival steamer Amazon Prime Video. Additionally, there have been conflicting reports about Netflix’s interest in exploring bidding on future editions of the NBA In-Season Tournament.