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Should Netflix’s News Show Worry CBS and Disney?

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Netflix plans to enter the news genre

According to MarketWatch, Netflix (NFLX) is planning to launch a weekly news show as the leading online streaming service provider continues to invest in original content and diversify in terms of news coverage.

Reportedly, Netflix’s news magazine show will be similar to CBS’s (CBS) 60 Minutes and Disney-owned (DIS) ABC’s 20/20.

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Netflix’s talk show offerings

Netflix’s continual expansion of its talk show offerings and increased spending on original content have strengthened its foray into the field of news. While making news is a different concept altogether and requires a lot of investment as well as spontaneous appeal, Netflix believes that the demand for news shows is increasing rapidly. Netflix is, therefore, seeking to capitalize on this demand.

Netflix’s investment in current affairs is increasing. This year, Netflix has signed comedians such as David Letterman and Hasan Minhaj to present lifestyle coverage and satire. The New York Times also reported that Netflix is in talks to bring former president Barack Obama in on a series of high-profile TV shows. Reportedly, Apple also wants to bring Obama to TV.

The company’s aggressive investment strategy includes spending on original high-quality content. Netflix currently has negative free cash flow, as it’s been investing aggressively in content. The company said it expects free cash flow of between -$4.0 billion and -$3.0 billion this year compared to its free cash flow of -$2.0 billion in 2017.

Netflix, along with its rivals Hulu and Amazon Prime (AMZN), is spending billions of dollars on original content. According to a new report published by the Diffusion Group, these three SVOD (subscription video on demand) players will invest a total of $10 billion annually by 2022.

However, Disney may not have to worry, as it’s launching two of its own direct-to-consumer streaming services: one for Disney and Pixar (starting in 2019) and another for ESPN sports lovers (launching in mid-2018). The acquisition of certain 21st Century Fox (FOXA) assets would further strengthen Disney’s over-the-top streaming services. Accordingly, Disney will be terminating its distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019.

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