Last week, we told you about the the story of the NFL playing Google and Netflix off the traditional television networks in potentially selling a new Thursday Night Football package. And while Google will continue to be used by the NFL as a threat against the cable sports networks, it won't be using Netflix.
In an investor quarterly conference call this week, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos shot down any speculation that Netflix would go into the sports business. He said, "We're still not interested in sports." Sarandos added that watching sports is a linear experience or one that is best experienced on a TV screen.
So there goes one bargaining chip out the window. The NFL was hoping to use the online companies against CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, Turner and any other network as a way to squeeze more money for its product. It still can, perhaps it will substitute Apple for Netflix.
At the present time, Netflix continues to concentrate on providing movies and original series to its subscribers. Maybe down the road, sports will be part of the Netflix strategy, but for now, it's not going to happen.
Of course Netflix doesn't want sports, and it stinks of desperation by the NFL for them to say that Netflix was interested in their Thursday night albatross. Netflix is the service for the ever growing number of people who are tired of paying ever increasing cable bills for overbloated sports right fees. It will interesting to see when the cable & satellite industry will have to start offering sports-less packages, on a large scale, to respond to Netflix & to keep the customer base intact, and what that will do to the sports industry as a result.
Netflix's CEO said "no" regarding live sports some years ago, and reiterated it again a year or two ago as it became apparent they were getting serious with original content.
When I saw discussion about Netflix being a potential bidder for TNF, I thought it was the NFL trying to boost possible interest.