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.”
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.