Netflix Eyes Sports Leagues, Streaming Rights Bids To Expanding Streaming, Boost Revenue

Netflix Eyes Sports Leagues, Streaming Rights Bids To Expanding Streaming, Boost Revenue

Netflix, Inc NFLX weighed offering live sports on its platform as long as it can do so without breaking the bank.

Netflix recently bid for the streaming rights for the ATP tennis tour for some European countries, including France and the U.K., but dropped out, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It also discussed bidding for other events, including U.K. rights to the Women's Tennis Association and cycling competitions.

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Netflix also discussed buying lower-profile leagues to bypass the surging costs of bidding for sports rights.

Netflix late last year discussed buying the World Surf League but failed to reach a price.

Some Netflix executives believe that given the size of its platform, Netflix could turn lesser-known sports like surfing into big franchises and create new sporting tournaments or events.

Earlier this year, Netflix bid for the live U.S. streaming rights to Formula One but lost out to Walt Disney Co's DIS ESPN.

After years of rapid growth, Netflix has struggled to add new subscribers in recent quarters.

There will likely be 160 million live-sports viewers at least once a month during at least one sporting season this year in the U.S., according to Insider Intelligence. Netflix has 73.4 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.

But sports rights are expensive. The amount paid for U.S. sports rights is $21.3 billion this year, up from $16.95 billion in 2019, according to analysts at MoffettNathanson.

Meanwhile, Netflix continued building its library of sports-focused documentary series.

Netflix's potential foray into sports comes as many of its streaming rivals splurged on access to high-profile sporting events Inc's AMZN Prime Video is now the primary home of "Thursday Night Football." Apple Inc's AAPL Apple TV+. Comcast Corp's CMCSA Peacock had exclusive rights to stream specific Major League Baseball games last season.

Price Action: NFLX shares traded lower by 0.55% at $262.01 in the premarket on the last check Wednesday.

Photo by Tumisu via Pixabay

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