There seems to be a lot of focus on live sports streaming, but based on comments from Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, it looks like the company plans to largely stay out of that game for the time being. “We really think we can have a really strong offer for sports fans on Netflix without having to be part of the difficulty of the live sports licensing business model,” he said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
This quote was the last part of a longer answer about the company’s sports strategy. “We are thrilled with the success of our adjacent sports programming,” he said, pointing to recent headlines like Strategist And Tour de France: Unleashed. With the latter, he talked about how he did “exactly what we saw with Drive to survive, which introduces a whole new audience to a sport that has been around for a very long time and (is) not very well understood. You do it through exceptional storytelling, not through liveliness of the game.”
This strategy, Sarandos argued, allows Netflix “to deliver this wide variety of sports programming for sports fans year-round” that builds on the company’s strengths in storytelling.
(Disclosure: Vox Media Studios produced At his bestAnd The edge recently produced a series with Netflix.)