Netflix’s first live sporting event arrives in November, confirms CEO

    It appears that Netflix really does believe Formula 1 and pro golf are compatible. The streaming service confirmed yesterday that a live celebrity golf tournament is coming to Netflix in November, marking the first time the streamer explores live sports.

    The Wall Street Journal first reported the live sporting event last month.

    “You’ve read some of the experimental stuff that we’re going to be doing like this live golf match in November,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO, during the Q2 2023 earnings call. “We’re excited about that because it serves as a promotional vehicle for our sports brands like ‘Full Swing’ and ‘Drive to Survive.’”

    Nothing else was shared about the event, including a specific release date, title or who would be participating. However, Sarandos did confirm that the live sporting event will feature personalities from two Netflix docuseries, “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” and “Full Swing.” He also reiterated that the tournament is only experimental.

    According to the WSJ, the tournament will be a one-time special event located in Las Vegas.

    Aside from the upcoming live sporting event, Netflix’s “position in live sports remains unchanged,” added Sarandos. Previously, the company told investors that it would only consider investing in the format if Netflix believed it could earn significant revenue.

    “We really think that we can have a really strong offering for sports fans at Netflix without having to be part of the difficulty of the economic model of live sports licensing,” Sarandos said.

    Netflix touted its sports-adjacent programming during the earnings call, such as its latest docuseries “Quarterback” that premiered July 12. The eight-episode series follows three NFL quarterbacks: Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins and the Atlanta Falcons’ Marcus Mariota.

    The streamer added 5.9 million subscribers for the second quarter, bringing the total to 238.4 million subs.

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