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Television networks have been fearful of Netflix for a long time. With plenty of movies, TV series, documentaries and foreign content, Netflix has revolutionized binge watching. The streaming service provides content to members whenever they want and however they want.

But the one thing that has been missing has been live sports. Netflix has said in the past it has had no desire to bid on life sports and will not look in that direction as part of its business model. It’s one of the reasons why it chose not to put commercials in its original series like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Grace and Frankie, Chef’s Table and others.

The NFL is looking to find a content partner to stream a live game in London for this coming season so what about Netflix to stream the game? And as Netflix evolves, could its attitude on live on-demand sports change? Not likely. At a conference this week, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said that he wouldn’t totally rule it out, but he can’t see it happening in the short term:

“I will never say never, but I would say that where we sit today, I don’t think the on-demand to sports is enough of an addition to the value proposition to chase. I think the leagues have tremendous leverage in those deals, so it’s not like we’re going to get in and de-leverage the leagues. We’re going to go in and overpay like everyone else does, so it doesn’t get me that excited. Not to say that it wouldn’t someday, down the road, make sense.”

And he said bidding on an entire package of NFL games is out of the question until 2022, With that being seven years away, there’s the remote possibility that Sarandos and the rest of the Netflix management team could change its collective mind, but for now, don’t expect to see live sports of any kind on there for the interim.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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