Despite reports Netflix is looking to acquire the streaming rights to several live sports leagues, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the streamer is not interested in bidding on sports rights right now.
“We’ve not seen a profit path to renting big sports,” said Sarandos at the UBS Global TMT Conference. He noted the company isn’t saying “there will never be” live sports on Netflix, but “dramatically expensive” rights have made sports a “loss leader.”
He clarified, “We’re not anti-sports, we’re just pro-profit.”
Over the past few years, there has been a larger trend of media companies snapping up sports rights and making them available to stream.
Amazon is in year one of an 11-year agreement with the NFL for exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football. Apple TV+ and Peacock both secured exclusive windows for Major League Baseball. Additionally, Apple and the Major Soccer League recently struck a 10-year streaming rights deal beginning in 2023.
Along with streaming giants’ entry into sports, regional sports networks have started to close the digital divide. NBC announced last week that it was going to stream its RSN’s on Peacock.
“We’ve yet to figure out how to do it,” the Netflix boss added. “I’m very confident we can get twice as big without sports, and beyond that maybe we’ll have to figure out, and by that point maybe the economics change or we’ll have the scale to figure that out.”