The streaming giant Netflix is in talks to host a celebrity golf tournament this fall that could help legitimize the platform as a streamer of sports.
- The company has not made official announcements, but early discussions suggest the event could be hosted in Las Vegas later this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- It would feature celebrity guests from Netflix’s Drive To Survive (Formula 1) and Full Swing (pro golf) docuseries, in addition to professional golfers.
- The broadcast could represent Netflix’s first delve into live sports broadcasting, potentially helping to legitimize the recent push for digital advertising on the platform.
- Netflix subscribers are expected to be able to access the broadcast with a regular subscription, without a sports package.
- The company briefly saw a 1.7% stock bump this morning before prices cooled.
Why It’s News
As we have previously reported, sports broadcasting rights have become a hot ticket for streaming services, with Amazon Prime Video and YouTube TV spending billions of dollars to secure exclusive rights to events like Thursday Night Football and Sunday Ticket. Some teams are totally cutting traditional sports broadcasting contracts to switch to streaming.
Netflix has already attempted to break into sports, putting in a bid last year to broadcast Formula One racing but losing to a three-year contract with ESPN. It has also bid on tennis and cycling events but does not necessarily want to compete in bidding for larger, expensive leagues with high price tags.
Netflix has an incentive to cautiously approach live broadcasting through smaller events that prove to digital advertisers that it can handle these events before bidding on a larger exclusivity deal.
“We aren’t anti-sports; we’re pro-profit,” says Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos, who previously mentioned that the company had yet to find a way to integrate a large sports league into its streaming model successfully.
The company has already seen mixed success with live broadcasts, with a recent Chris Rock comedy special being successful, as opposed to the glitchier Love Is Blind live reunion.