Netflix’s Live Sports Efforts Got To Very Modest Start With The Netflix Cup, Viewership Data Shows

Netflix, which for years had claimed that live sports did not factor into its business model, is now a major player in the field, recently snapping up Christmas NFL games. But before committing to established, conventional sports franchises like NFL football games and WWE Raw, the streamer tested the waters with stunt-y, made-for-TV sport events, starting with The Netflix Cup on Nov. 14, 2023.

According to Netflix’s second expansive viewership report released today, The Netflix Cup, a golf match featuring drivers and golfers from its docu series Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Full Swing, logged paltry 700,000 views in the second half of 2023.

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Compare that to Netflix’s foray into live comedy, which was off to a hot start with the Match 2023 Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage special. It logged 36.2M hours in the first half of 2023, which translates to 30.9M views. (In its first viewership report, released in December, Netflix did not provide views, only hours watched.)

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What’s more, Selective Outrage added another 1.5M views during the second half of 2023, underscoring live entertainment’s longer shelf life compared to live sports.

The Netflix Cup was followed by The Netflix Slam, an exhibition match between tennis stars Rafael Nadal taking on Carlos Alcaraz, in March 2024. Like The Netflix Cup, it did not crack into the streamer’s Top 10; we will have to wait for the next data dump to see whether it improved on The Netflix Cup‘s performance.

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The streamer likely has high hopes for its next live sports event, the Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson boxing match. Like The Netflix Slam, it pits against each other stars from different generations, though the contact nature of boxing has raised concerns about that match-up.

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