Netflix Is Taking Over Live Sports So What Could That Mean For Formula 1?

The global success of Netflix's Drive to Survive could be just the start of a long relationship with Formula 1.

Netflix Is Taking Over Live Sports So What Could That Mean For Formula 1?


Netflix hasn’t exactly hidden its intentions to move into the lucrative world of live sports. Following the success of their original golf tournament streamed just ahead of the biggest Grand Prix of the year I wouldn’t be surprised to see the streaming giants continue to make their presence known in the world of Formula 1.

After Netflix announced plans for ‘The Netflix Slam’, the next live sporting event between tennis titans Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal to be held on 3 March, fans were celebrating another major win for the streaming giant in its latest venture into the live sports arena.

You’ll remember that, back in November, Netflix made history with its first-ever live sporting event held before – another first – the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

RELATED: The Netflix Cup Tees Off Before Las Vegas Grand Prix… And It’s Pure Chaos

‘The Netflix Cup’ saw four pairs of eight athletes consisting of Formula 1 drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris join PGA Tour pro players to compete across an eight-hole course of varying difficulties under the iconic Las Vegas city skyline… so what could this mean for the future of live sports?

Of course, the streaming giants have positioned themselves alongside the biggest sports in the world in recent years, releasing hit docuseries such as Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Break Point and Full Swing to inadvertently change the way that its users consume sports.

Known for its gripping high-octane action, Netflix’s Drive to Survive brought a whole new generation of race fans over to Formula 1 during its first few seasons, introducing the sport (and its many stars) to millions of people from all over the world.

The Netflix Effect

The so-called ‘Netflix Effect’ has seen an exponential increase in American interest in the sport with record numbers of fans watching the 2023 season at home and in the stands – it’s even led to a third North American Grand Prix for the first time in Formula 1 history.

With more than 250 million users reportedly paying for a Netflix subscription, Netflix’s fresh attempts to move into the live sports space could see another seismic shift in the way that fans consume live sports and traditional broadcasters will no doubt be looking over their shoulder at the giant moving in on their turf.

“A few years ago, the rights to Formula 1 were sold,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed to German media Der Spiegel. “At that time, we were not among the bidders — today we would think about it.”

RELATED: Before Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ Here’s One Formula 1 Documentary You Probably Missed

Image: REUTERS/Juan Medina

Of course, Netflix wouldn’t be the first streaming giant to move into live sports. It’s reported that tech titan Amazon is paying around £30 million (~$55 million AUD) a year for the rights to 20 live Premier League matches, whilst Apple and MLS agreed a bumper ten-year global broadcast deal worth $250 million ($368 million AUD) a season.

It’s unclear what Netflix’s plans are for the next major sporting event, with The Netflix Slam between Alcaraz and Nadal slated for March next year. But if history’s anything to go by, don’t be surprised to see more Formula 1 stars gracing your homepage in the near future.