Thanks to the success of Drive to Survive, a docu-series that chronicles Formula 1 season from the eyes of a team, driver or a personality associated with the sport, streaming giant Netflix is no more averse to the idea of bidding for the live broadcast rights of the premier motorsports event in the future. This is a departure from the earlier stance of Netflix not interested in live sports event since citing the reason that they won’t have any control over what content goes out to their audiences.
But as per several media reports, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said despite the seemingly out of control nature of live sporting broadcasts, they will be open to bidding for the rights now.
“With sports broadcasts we have no control over the source,” Hastings said during an interview with Der Spiegel. “We don’t own the Bundesliga, which can make deals with whomever it wants. But this kind of control would be a pre-requisite for us to be able to offer our customers a secure deal.”
“A few years back, the Formula 1 rights were sold. At that time we were not among the bidders, but today we would definitely consider that,” he said.
As per reports, the Drive to Success has brought in new fans to Formula 1 thanks to its gripping storylines and tight editing that means viewers are shown the best part of the whole journey. More recently, its documentary on seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher has also drawn positive reactions.
“News is by its nature political, and it varies greatly from country to country. It’s difficult to produce news as a globally operating company without making enemies. It’s much easier for others who only cater to a regional market. At Netflix, we do entertainment and not journalism,” Hastings said.
He added, “That would have to be up to certain standards. We keep our hands off live sports. With that kind of broadcast, we have no control over the source.”