Netflix NFL Games Will Cost About The Same As “One Of Our Medium-Sized Original Films,” Exec Says

NFL games on Netflix in a deal announced earlier today will each cost the streamer about the same as one mid-sized film, said Spencer Wang, VP Finance, IR and Corporate Development.

The company, whi ch has been pushing into sports and live events, nabbed the rights to a doubleheader on Christmas day 2024 and will carry at least one holiday game over the next three years. Financial details weren’t disclosed. The WJS said Netflix will pay about $75 million a game this year. “I would characterize each game as roughly the size of one of our medium-sized original films,” Wang said during a Q&A at MoffettNathanson’s annual media conference.

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“I would say it’s a very manageable cost” that fits within the streamer’s exiting content spend, pegged at about $17 billion this year.

“It’s a big day, exciting news for us,” he said.

But, as the company tends to do with each deal, he downplayed the latest foray into the nation’s highest-rated sport, telling investors to “think of this as really more part of our strategy to build out live events and “eventized” programming, rather than a big move into sports. He noted comedy specials like Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage , the recent Tom Brady roast and a long-term deal with WWE. “Those types of programming can deliver huge breakthrough moments that our audiences really love and we’re going to continue to build on that strategy.”

He said live is key to in a fragmented media landscape with so many choices since it can bring large audiences and passionate ones. “And I think the NFL fits in really well with that strategy.”

Asked how Netflix will produce the games, Wang said, “We’re working through the details on that side, TBD right now, but we have a rough plan in place … I would say that it’s part of our learning process. Working on things like Netflix Slam [tennis tournament and the Netflix Cup [golf competition] in Las Vegas, you know, it’s not easy. A lot of work goes into it. But we are building that muscle. If there’s one thing that Netflix is good at — as Reed [Hastings] has said in the past — is that we’re a learning machine.”

Separately, Wang weighed in on the giant streamer’s controversial decision unveiled with its last earnings not to report quarterly subscriber numbers starting in 2025. The company said then its business has changed and revenue and other metrics are more relevant. Wall Streeters, who need to generate models and financial forecasts, were not happy. Wang, a former analyst himself, insisted that “we’re not trying to obfuscate anything.”

“We fully intend to grow subscribers and we’ll continue to report subscribers as we pass certain milestones.” Investor focus on core net adds data creates “unnecessary volatility” for the stock. “We are very rarely off on revenue by more than plus or minus 1%, but if you look at the stock trading, it’s obviously much more volatile that that.”

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