Netflix has long been asked if it will eventually switch to live sports. Ted Sarandos, the streamer’s co-CEO, revealed during the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday what it would need to make that happen.
He said he wasn’t so sure it could add a “big profit stream” with the addition of live sports. “I’m not saying we’ll never do sports, but we’ll have to find a way to develop a big source of income and a big source of profit,” he said.
The comments come as streamer interest in sports-adjacent content increases. He had success with the Formula 1: drive to survive docuseries – credited with growing interest in motorsport in the US as it recently launched its fourth season. He also has similar projects around NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and the PGA Tour of golf.
Sarandos co-CEO Reed Hastings told a German newspaper The Spiegel that he would consider buying the rights to F1. However, he also pointed out that he would need control in order to achieve this level of investment for his subscribers.
Instead, Sarandos stressed that it will continue to look into sports-related programming and documentary content.
He also pointed to Netflix’s focus on gaming, rather than live sports, at present, an area where the streamer may have more rights and ownership.
Netflix will add advertising in “the next year or two”, as co-CEO Reed Hastings finally concedes
“We are constantly expanding our content verticals,” Sarandos said. “For us, look at games as a great example of adding something new to the service, something new that our members can enjoy. We’re going down the gaming route because it suits us very well, our ability to tell stories stories and creating worlds is very consistent with our existing skills and culture and we believe we can generate a big stream of revenue and profit by adding games.