Netflix Entering into Live Sports: Golf Tournament ft. Formula 1 & PGA Tour Stars, November 14th

In recent years, Netflix has expanded its catalog of original content to keep up with increasing competition in the streaming world. Some of its most popular programs have been sports documentaries, such as “Quarterback”, “Full Swing”, and “Drive to Survive”.

Now the streaming behemoth is capitalizing on this success and expanding into the world of live sports with the first-ever Netflix Cup, a made-for-television golf tournament. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 14th at 6pm EST, with a crossover appeal of auto racing and golf stars. The 9-hole tournament will feature athletes from “Drive to Survive” and “Full Swing” and has been highly anticipated for months.

The sports world will be watching closely to see if the company can handle the challenge of airing live sports, and if there is a large interest in the unique crossover between auto and golf. The advertising world should also take note as Netflix has been on the upswing. Last month, the company announced that it had added 8.76 million global subscribers during Q3, the biggest quarterly addition since it added 10.1 million subscribers during stay-at-home Covid times, Q2 of 2020.

The Netflix Cup will take place at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV, just days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Each of the four competing pairings will include a F1 driver and a PGA tour golfer. The four pairings were recently revealed by Netflix:

  • Rickie Fowler and Lando Norris
  • Justin Thomas and Carlos Sainz Jr.
  • Collin Morikawa and Pierre Gasly
  • Max Homa and Alexander Albon

Under the format of the tournament, all three teams will play eight holes, with the top two teams advancing to a winner-take-all 9th hole.

According to Bloomberg, Netflix is charging sponsors $2 million to place advertisements on the golf course and sponsor the commercial-free event. In addition, any advertiser that joins in for the event will also have to commit to spending $2 million on the Netflix ad-supported tier. Netflix said earlier this month that it had 15 million monthly active users on its cheaper ad-tier, sending a message to advertisers about its reach.

Netflix has been mentioned as a potential player for live sports rights as many are navigating a media landscape facing dramatic change. “We are in the sports business,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarrandos said last month during its earnings conference call, noting that the company focuses on “where the drama is,” and relying on programs like documentaries or specials that profile a sport or high-profile athletes. He noted that there were no plans to bring in more traditional live sports, but that the company was investing in its service to provide a better platform for live events.

The trailer for the Netflix Cup can be viewed here.

Written by Account Manager, Rachel Greene

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