Netflix to Debut First-Ever Live Sports Event with ‘Netflix Cup’ Golf Tournament
Netflix, the popular streaming service, is stepping into the world of live sports with its inaugural event, the “Netflix Cup” golf tournament. Unlike other sports-streaming platforms, Netflix avoids the hefty rights fees by creating a unique competition.
The “Netflix Cup” will bring together race-car drivers from Netflix’s acclaimed Formula 1 documentary series, “Drive to Survive,” and golfers from a similar series called “Full Swing.” The showdown will take place in a match-play tournament at the Wynn Golf Club, located on the iconic Las Vegas Strip. The event is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, November 14.
This concept may seem familiar to some, as Warner Bros. Discovery has succeeded with its “The Match” celebrity golf events featuring NFL players and top golfers. These events are typically broadcast on cable networks like TNT, allowing Warner to expand its sports offerings without paying significant fees to established leagues.
Gabe Spitzer, the Vice President of Nonfiction Sports at Netflix, expressed excitement about this new venture, saying, “We love to see how our sports series have brought increased fandom to sports leagues and competitions all over the world. The Netflix Cup will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.”
Netflix is the latest streaming platform to venture into sports, aiming to tap into the large and dedicated sports-watching audience. Amazon has secured a multi-year deal for the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” while Apple has signed with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. NBCUniversal’s Peacock also offers MLB content and WWE access, among other events. Recently, Warner Bros. Discovery introduced a sports tier, using its digital sports outlet, Bleacher Report, to make cable-sports available through the Max streaming hub for an extra fee.
Netflix has been experimenting with various live-streamed concepts, including a stand-up special by comedian Chris Rock in March. However, a live-streaming event for the “Love Is Blind” Season 4 reunion faced technical difficulties and wasn’t available for streaming until the following day.
The “Netflix Cup” has gained approval from both the PGA Tour and Formula 1 and will be produced by Excel Sports Management, BZ Entertainment, and Full Day Productions, supported by former ESPN executive Connor Schell and longtime producer David Chamberlin. This groundbreaking event promises to bring a unique fusion of sports and entertainment to Netflix’s ever-expanding content portfolio.