Netflix’s live-streaming capability raises a sports question
TV channels, services, programs
With the news that Netflix will host its first-ever live stream event, featuring comedian Chris Rock, the stage – and the technology – looks set for more live shows, hinting at an entry into the broadcast scene. sporting among tech companies, where cost concerns have had moderate progress so far.
Test new technology
As a world premiere, Netflix announcement that he would host a live-stream comedy show with Chris Rock in early 2023, adding that he would build on his “legacy of leadership in live comedy” that began with the big comedy fest that Netflix has held in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Running a live stream is hard to do, and a show with an experienced comedian with a huge fanbase is a good test of a new streaming capability. But experience from other streamers suggests that high-pressure events may soon reveal teething problems in this approach. Attention will also quickly turn to what else Netflix can do with streaming technology.
Sport: mainstream, big cost
Netflix’s proximity to the sports space was in the news since the summer with his interest in bidding for the rights to show Formula 1 motor racing. More recent reports indicate Netflix’s interest in sports like surfing, which would be cheaper than a major sport and would allow Netflix to grow.
With larger sports, it’s a tough game to play as ready made audiences come with strings attached.
When you do your own shows, you control the expenses; the cost of sports broadcasting and streaming rights, meanwhile, is only goes one way — that, according to recent reports from the Wall Street Journal, is a significant concern at the top of the Netflix organization.
With Amazon Prime now a regular broadcaster of several major sporting events, and Apple Plus major league baseball streaming deal, streaming services with sports interests are nothing new. But there is more competition for these rights and any user growth created by sports rights will be difficult to sustain profitably.
In context: an advertising product in audience research
After a wobble in the second quarter, Netflix returned to growth in its most recent resultsbefore the introduction of an advertising-based tariff level.
In the results call, the goal of the ad product was to help advertisers reach audiences rather than necessarily target them. The problem is that it needs a large, affluent audience to justify high ad rates.
Amazon has successfully (and rather seamlessly) integrated advertising into its sports programming for paid subscribers – the introduction of live sports could also help Netflix unlock its most valuable audience.
Sourced from Netflix, WSJ, WARC, Sports Pro Media