News and Sports on Netflix?
Netflix (NFLX) currently offers TV shows and movies on its video streaming service. However, the company does not currently stream news or sports programming on its streaming service. One of its competitors, Time Warner’s (TWX) HBO, is planning to offer news on its streaming service that will cater to Millennials, people in the 18–34 age group.
However, when it comes to sports, the two big players in the sports broadcasting market are The Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) ESPN and 21st Century Fox’s (FOXA) Fox Sports. However, Disney’s ESPN is facing troubled times due to subscriber losses and rising costs of sports telecasting rights.
According to a Wall Street Journal report citing Nielsen, and as you can see in the above graph, ESPN’s cable subscribers have fallen 7.2% since 2011, to ~93 million as of July 2015. Other major channels, including Time Warner’s (TWX) TNT and TBS and Viacom’s (VIAB) Nickelodeon, have lost 6%–7% of subscribers since 2011.
Will Netflix offer news or sports in the future?
Netflix stated in its 3Q15 earnings call that it will explore the news genre shortly. Early next year, it’s going to stream a weekly talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler. However, Netflix does not see the on-demand streaming of sports as exciting for the viewer compared to watching sporting events live. This is one of the reasons it does not see itself venturing into the streaming of sports events.
Netflix makes up 5.6% of the First Trust Dow Jones Internet ETF (FDN).