Jake Paul vs Nate Diaz Aug 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Jake Paul (left) fights against Nate Diaz in a boxing match at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a day ending in -Y, so Netflix is being linked to live sports again. This time, the streamer is being connected to live boxing, including Jake Paul.

The Wall Street Journal reports that talks about airing live boxing “are still in an early stage,” linking the company to fights involving Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Jake Paul, whose Most Valuable Promotions brand expanded and extended its deal with DAZN in October. PBC currently has a deal with Showtime Sports, which will end following Showtime’s exit from the live sports business at the end of the year.

Logistical challenges aside, my main questions are how will Netflix, which has avoided live sports because of the costs involved, free up the cash to pay for live boxing, and how does it turn a profit on airing these events?

For instance, Showtime’s pay-per-view broadcast of PBC’s Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford cost $84.95, generated around 700,000 buys, and paid out over $25 million to each fighter. Netflix hasn’t allowed subscribers to purchase singular-event content like a boxing PPV, seemingly taking all that revenue off the table, so where are the purses for fighters coming from?

Paul wouldn’t come much cheaper. His August fight with Nate Diaz cost $59.99 on PPV and drew a reported 450,000 buys domestically. While initial purses for Paul and Diaz were cheaper than for Spence and Crawford, the men split the earnings from the PPV. With no PPV price on Netflix, where’s that extra revenue coming from?

Netflix makes its first foray into live sports later this month with The Netflix Cup, a live golf event featuring F1 drivers from Drive to Survive and golfers from Full Swing. As far as I can tell, the only prize is “the Netflix Cup title.”

The company has been linked to airing live sports for a decade now but remained out of the fray until the Netflix Cup. Now, the company is being thrust right back into the fray for live sports, despite the insistence of co-CEO Ted Sarandos that there hasn’t been a change in Netflix’s live sports strategy.

[Wall Street Journal]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.