Culture

Netflix wants ownership rights to stream sports, and Formula 1 is at the top of the list

Co-founder and director of Netflix Reed Hastings delivers a speech as he inaugurates the new offices of Netflix France, in Paris on January 17, 2020. - Hastings announced some 20 French projects by Netflix on January 17, 2020. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images

Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Go are growing bigger with each day. For example, hundreds of different movies, TV shows, and documentaries are available on streaming sites. However, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings said they would consider bidding for F1 commercial rights when there’s an opportunity.

As we know, Netflix doesn’t broadcast any live sports events. Despite that, Netflix did several sports documentaries, including Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance. However, creating a thriving environment for live sports is complex, and Hasting is entirely aware of the presented difficulties.

“News is by its nature political, and it varies greatly from country to country. It is difficult to produce news as a globally operating company without making enemies. It’s much easier for others who only cater to a regional market.”

“Besides, we make entertainment and not journalism, which should have certain standards and follow ethical guidelines. We also keep our hands off live sport.”

Reed Hastings

Netflix wants ownership rights to stream sports

As it seems, the biggest issue with streaming live sports for Netflix is the ownership. Netflix demands total control over its products, but it can’t own a sports league. On the other hand, Hastings said that Netflix would consider bidding for Formula 1 commercial rights when they are on sale.

“With sports broadcasts, we have no control over the source. We don’t own the Bundesliga, which can make deals with whomever it wants. But this kind of control would be a prerequisite for us to be able to offer our customers a secure deal.”

“A few years ago, the rights to Formula 1 were sold. At that time we were not among the bidders, today we would think about it.”

Reed Hastings

Netflix and Formula 1 have collaborated on a very successful ‘Drive to Survive’ series. The series has drawn praise for introducing Formula 1 to new audiences. However, Drive to Survive has also been criticized for misrepresenting certain relationships within the F1 paddock.

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