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This week, Bloomberg made a few predictions about what might happen in the 2022 streaming market. Many of its predictions are continuations on a trend (such as talent making big money from streaming service content). But one prediction that most got our attention is the suggestion that Netflix will get into sports streaming. This could be a big move for the leader in streaming.
Where is Netflix’s opportunity in sports streaming?
Netflix is already in just about every American home in one way or another. About 80% of US households had Netflix as of 2020. That’s a huge market share that’s effectively larger than any other streaming service. Most product or service providers could only dream of having that kind of reach. It also makes Netflix a powerhouse when it comes to negotiating contracts.
That’s where the company’s opportunity for sports streaming comes in. If you’ve been following the market, sports streaming is a bit fractured right now. Most live TV streaming providers have been dropping major sports packages because rights providers have been asking for an increasingly large amount of money to offer sports streaming. As it stands, DirecTV Stream and FuboTV have the most complete sports streaming packages, and both are fairly pricey comparatively speaking.
That’s where Netflix could stand to disrupt the market. With its market share, the company could negotiate lower carriage rates than competitors, allowing it to sneak into the sports streaming market with a critical pricing advantage.
Could it happen?
That’s the biggest question mark about this prediction. Netflix is obviously not going to provide any insight into its plans, and publicly-traded companies don’t make a habit of announcing what they might do. Not unless they want to get sued for making false claims to pump up their stock price. That being the case, we won’t know if Netflix plans to get into sports streaming until it happens.
Nevertheless, Netflix is a big-brained company. There’s no way the concept hasn’t already been part of some discussions, and most likely some serious discussions.
How would sports change Netflix pricing?
If Netflix did start offering live or even on-demand sports, there would be a cost to that. A big one, actually, since sports providers tend to charge big bucks for sports streaming content. Netflix would likely need to add a pricing tier for those who want sports, as the price increase would be more significant. Depending on the type of deal, it could even double the price of a regular Netflix subscription (or more).
Sam Cook is a full-time content strategist by day, a part-time freelance content writer since 2015. In another life, he was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade. Based in sunny New Orleans, he writes long-form educational content on technology, including Insurtech, Fintech, HRtech, and content streaming. He loves whittling down complex ideas within these areas that make decisions easier for buyers. When he’s not reading books with his son Miles and playing video games with the family, you can find him immersed in his growing collection of Euro-style board games.