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Netflix Set To Mirror Foxtel With Advertising & A Tilt At Formula One As Subscribers Desert Them

Netflix was supposed to spell the death for Foxtel when they launched in Australia today, access to the US streaming service is on the Foxtel remote.

Instead, it’s Netflix the service that all TV manufacturers have on their smart TV’s that is struggling to define their future as subscribers are given new choices with sport playing a key role for the likes of Foxtel and Kayo.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that Netflix is desperately trying to get its mojo back after a shocking earnings disclosure in April when the giant US service who pioneered streaming lost 44 percent of its stock value.

“Morale is stuck at stock level,” says one executive semi-jokingly. Another executive describes the mood within Netflix right now as “distracted” given the changes.

Today subscribers are walking away from Netflix with the service losing 200,000 subs in its latest quarter with two million tipped to exit this year.

Archrival Disney who owns Disney + Hula and ESPN has 205 million subs combined, just behind Netflix’s 221 million global subs.

This month sport and advertising were openly being discussed at Netflix water coolers, with the service who up until now has refused to run advertising on their service, about to bolster revenues with an advertising offer for brands who want access to their target audience.

The business has already axed 150 employees, or 2 percent of its workforce.

Insiders who Hollywood reporter spoke to claim that Netflix wants to focus on making bigger movies, making better movies, and releasing fewer than it previously did at a gluttonous pace.

Expensive vanity projects at Netflix, whether animation or live action (like Martin Scorsese’s $175 million The Irishman), is over. “This tendency to do anything to attract talent and giving them carte blanche is going away,” says one person.

“Just a few years ago, we were struggling to out-monetize the market on little art films,” Netflix co-chief Ted Sarandos told analysts on the company’s April earnings call. “Today, we’re releasing some of the most popular and most watched movies in the world”.

Instead of making two movies for $10 million, as an example, the company will make one for $20 million. “The goal will be to make the best version of something instead of cheapening out for the sake of quantity,” says one insider.

There is also talk of Netflix following Apple and Amazon Primes lead and going after big sport events.

In Australia Paramount Global the owners of Channel Ten and Paramount + are believed to be going after AFL rights.

Netflix is among four bidders seeking to secure the Formula One global motorsport series’ TV rights which in Australia are held by Foxtel.

The move comes after the success of their documentary series on Formula One drivers.

Disney-owned ESPN, which has broadcast the series in the US since 2018, has also confirmed an interest in renewing its contract, with Comcast-owned NBC and Amazon also reportedly in talks with Formula One.

According to recent reports, ESPN’s opening bid was in the region of US$70 million, which is some way short of the US$100 million that Formula One is expecting.


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