Live sports on Netflix in South Africa? Don’t hold your breath

Netflix is not coming to the rescue of South Africans who want an online alternative to DStv’s potent bouquet of SuperSport channels.

“There is no interest in live sports currently,” Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during a recent earnings call.

While a pay-TV linear broadcast service like DStv arguably has several faults, its live sports offering is unmatched in South Africa.

“Rather than invest in things like live sports, we’re investing in things like The Crown, which is just an epic production,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Outside of sports, Netflix is not interested in live streaming.

The closest it will get is putting up episodes of Chelsea Handler “just a couple of hours” after they are recorded in front of a studio audience.

“There’s not a technological reason we wouldn’t want to go to live, but you should think about our brand proposition, [which] is very much about on-demand,” said Sarandos.

“To the extent that watching on-demand is better than watching live, we bring a tonne of value to it. And other people doing live… I think it’s great, it’s about a further expansion of Internet television to include live. We don’t have to do everything to be part of that expansion.”

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Live sports on Netflix in South Africa? Don’t hold your breath