Could Netflix Start Streaming Live Boxing Matches?
Netflix is in talks to stream a live boxing match, featuring YouTube influencer Jake Paul, which would be the first livestreamed boxing match on the platform.
The company is also discussing a potential battle between boxers from Premier Boxing Champions, a show currently on Paramount+.
This step would mark Netflix’s attempt to jump into streaming live sports, which is a move that has been debated for years. It would also see them competing with Foxtel, which already streams boxing in Australia.
The first Netflix streamed live sporting event will be ‘The Netflix Cup,’ which is set to take place on November 14th, and is a live golf tournament that features athletes from the Formula One documentary ‘Drive to Survive,’ as well as ‘Full Swing,’ which features pro golfers.
The discussions around live streaming the boxing match are still in the early stages, and might not come to fruition.
There have been many streaming services moving to make live sports available, with Amazon and YouTube paying big prices for the rights to stream live sports. Netflix executives have resisted due to the rising costs of sports rights.
Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos said, “We aren’t anti-sports, we’re pro-profit.”
He added the company’s stance could change, as it has turned to streaming live events to promote its programming.
The company has so far focused on sports programming, after it saw success with some shows like ‘Quarterback.’ This show followed three American football quarterbacks during the last season, and became one of the top 10 shows for several weeks.
Now Netflix is planning a shows based on ‘Quarterback,’ which will feature professional basketball players, and partner with LeBron James’ entertainment company SpringHill, Higher Ground Productions, and Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions.
By streaming just one boxing match, it would allow Netflix to test the plan, without committing to a full season.
Premier Boxing Champions is owned by Al Haymon and features stars including Canelo Alvarez. It’s currently looking for a new home since Paramount announced the shut down of its sports channels, which includes boxing.
Amazon is also interested in streaming the matches.
If Netflix proceeds with featuring the live match with Jake Paul, this could promote the documentary about him, ‘Untold: Jake Paul the Problem Child,’ which came out earlier this year.
Jake also currently has a deal with global sports streamer DAZN for two fights, one this year and one next year.