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Will Netflix ever stream live sports?

Will Netflix ever stream live sports?
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

No other video streaming service has contributed to the rise of cable cord-cutting as much as Netflix. There's more than enough to watch on Netflix, so many viewers have decided they no longer need cable or satellite. But one thing Netflix doesn't have is live sporting events and that's one of the main hesitations of potential cord-cutters. That's why cord-cutters usually also purchase an HD Antenna, like the one I sell in my store. 

Could that all change soon? This week we heard some interesting clues from Netflix.

For some insight from Netflix' perspective, first you have to consider the difference between live streaming, like a big event, and Netflix' on-demand streaming. Peter Kafka of reCode explains:

Netflix thinks it can pay a bunch of money for “House of Cards,” or new Adam Sandler movies, or whatever, because it will get value for those things over months and years — whenever people want to watch them. But an NFL game, or the World Cup, or any other big sports event, has to be live. Which is why the TV guys, and their advertisers, place so much value on them. Netflix doesn’t have to worry about advertisers.

But that's not to say Netflix will never cover sports. A lot can happen in a few years. Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos spoke at a conference this week and told a panel:

I will never say never, but I would say that where we sit today, I don’t think the on-demand to sports is enough of an addition to the value proposition to chase. I think the leagues have tremendous leverage in those deals, so it’s not like we’re going to get in and de-leverage the leagues. We’re going to go in and overpay like everyone else does, so it doesn’t get me that excited. Not to say that it wouldn’t someday, down the road, make sense. Today, I think there’s lots of growth in what we’re doing.

I'm a big fan of dumping cable TV to save money. But I'm also a big fan of watching the big game live. You can do both! Click here for my tips on how you can cut the cord and still watch sports, local news and network TV for free. 

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Source: Re/code
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