NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 11: NFL referee Ed Hochuli signals a touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers play against the Tennessee Titans in a Thursday Night Football game October 11, 2012 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

This week Netflix released its first quarter earnings report and it addressed the elephant in the room, Amazon’s streaming rights to Thursday Night Football. Netflix which has said in the past it won’t bid on live sports, reiterated that sentiment this week.

In fact Netflix wrote off the Amazon bid as saying it wasn’t for them:

“Investors ask us about Amazon’s move into NFL football. That is not a strategy that we think is smart for us since we believe we can earn more viewing and satisfaction from spending that money on movies and TV shows.”

Netflix also poo-poohed new live streaming services like DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling and YouTube TV saying they’ll be direct competition to pay TV providers. It said at $30-60 a month, it “may appeal to a segment of the population that doesn’t subscribe to a pay TV bundle.” Netflix continued, “But we don’t think it will have much of an impact on us as Netflix is largely complimentary to pay TV packages.”

And it said its focus remains solely on providing on-demand, ad-free programming rather than on ad-supported content so you won’t be seeing commercials on Netflix.

Amazon has more of an infrastructure to handle NFL games like surrounding it with merchandise and will most likely cater ads to individual viewers. With Netflix not even considering ads and sports, it will leave this arena to Amazon.

Could Netflix lose subscribers to Amazon? Perhaps, but at this point, Netflix has no intentions of bidding on live sports, run ads and conduct live streaming.

There’s no word if Hulu will attempt bids in the future, but with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube already showing interest and streaming live sports, Amazon knows that Netflix won’t be joining them at least for now.


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.