Here’s why Netflix has no interest in live TV

Here’s why Netflix has no interest in live TV

Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing was “not very joyful,” says Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos.

Everywhere except Netflix, of course — and don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

When Netflix’s content boss Ted Sarandos spoke at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on Tuesday, Hearst’s Joanna Coles asked him why Netflix doesn’t get into live TV, like streaming the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.

“We’re primarily embraced as an entertainment brand. That kind of watching you’re describing is a lot of things, but not terribly entertaining,” Sarandos replied. “Now, 10 years from now, five years from now, that’s going to be an amazing [documentary] series.”

The Kavanaugh hearing may not have been pleasant to watch for a lot of people, but it certainly was popular. More than 20 million people tuned into the hearing across a number of networks, more people than the average audience for Sunday Night Football in 2017, the most popular regularly scheduled program on all of TV.

Sarandos didn’t touch on whether or not he is interested in other kinds of live TV, like live sports. Netflix has often been considered a logical bidder for live sports rights, like the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package, which recently went to Amazon. But he doesn’t seem to care how popular news or politics are. Those topics, at least, don’t vibe with the company’s brand, Sarandos added.

“We’re a global brand, and our primary focus is consumer joy,” he said. “That is watching, but it’s not very joyful.”

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