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Netflix Enters Live Sports With NETFLIX CUP Golf Tournament

Photo by Venti Views via Unsplash

Netflix Enters Live Sports With NETFLIX CUP Golf Tournament

By Movieguide® Contributor

Netflix is expanding its offerings to include live sports, starting with THE NETFLIX CUP, a golf tournament featuring celebrities from the platform’s sports docuseries.

THE NETFLIX CUP will feature Formula 1 racecar drivers from the series DRIVE TO SURVIVE and golfers from the show FULL SWING. These docuseries look behind the scenes into the reality of professional sports, revealing the not-so-glamorous parts of these athletes’ lives. By showing these athletes’ humanity, the stars of these shows have gained an increasingly strong fanbase.

“We love to see how our sports series have brought increased fandom to sports leagues and competitors all over the world,” said Gabe Spitzer, vice president of nonfiction sports at Netflix. “THE NETFLIX CUP will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.”

The athletes currently slated to compete are F1 racers Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz and golfers Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Marikawa and Justin Thomas.

During the tournament, the athletes will pair up – a golfer and an F1 driver on each team – and compete in an 8-hole match. The top two teams will then compete on the final hole to crown a winning team, earning them the Netflix Cup title.

With THE NETFLIX CUP, Netflix becomes the latest streaming service to enter into what is perhaps the most lucrative entertainment offering currently available. Live sports are one of the last remaining events that can draw a large simultaneous audience week after week. Amazon and YouTube TV have both bet big on exclusivity rights with the NFL, while Apple offers Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

Netflix, meanwhile, has seemingly set the stage for its entrance into live sports through previous experiments with live events. It streamed a live standup routine by Chris Rock in March, which crashed after too many people tried to join, and a live LOVE IS BLIND reunion also experienced major technical difficulties. Hopefully, THE NETFLIX CUP stream will run smoother as it will likely draw in a major crowd.

THE NETFLIX CUP will stream on Netflix on November 14 at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Netflix recently revealed their future plans and the innovations they hope will keep them as the most popular streaming service available. 

After years of uncontrolled growth, Netflix was hit with reality last year when they posted a loss in subscribers during Q1, the first time they had seen a drop in users in over a decade. Since then, the company has been restructuring itself to focus on maximizing profits, rather than subscribers. 

The most notable change in the company came when Netflix announced they would be cracking down on password sharing in March of last year. This change came with the introduction of an ad-supported subscription tier, in an effort to provide a cheaper option for users who had previously been using someone else’s account. This crackdown has been tested by Netflix in multiple markets and is planned to be fully rolled out by June of this year. 

The company, however, does not expect that the crackdown on password sharing will do much to increase its subscriber count; Netflix understands that it has all but saturated its subscriber numbers from its current markets, mainly the U.S. Thus, the company plans to broaden its original content, creating shows and movies for primarily international audiences to continue to boost its subscriber count.