If you never thought that Formula 1 and pro golf could go together, Netflix begs to differ. The streaming service is said to be in talks to livestream its first ever sporting event, a celebrity golf tournament featuring F1 drivers and professional golfers, according to The Wall Street Journal. It would reportedly feature personalities from Full Swing and Drive to Survive, Netflix documentaries that follow F1 drivers and pro golfers. Talks are still preliminary, according to the WSJ.
A celebrity golf event would be a low-stakes way for Netflix to work out a format and solve any technical issues that could occur in future live sports events. It famously messed up a livestream of its Love is Blind reality show, with technical problems causing an hour-long outage — though its first live stream event, a Chris Rock comedy special, went smoothly.
The company may have also noticed the popularity of golf YouTube channels like Rick Shiels and Bob Does Sports. Those often feature top-echelon pros like Max Homa playing rounds and competing with average players, trash talking and swearing like the rest of us do while playing golf. A similar format, with F1 drivers and players competing but also having fun, could draw in casual viewers that would otherwise never watch golf — much like Full Swing did.
Netflix has supposedly been exploring live sports streaming for more than a year. It previously bid for live US streaming rights to Formula 1, but reportedly lost out to ESPN. It has also supposedly explored bidding on rights for tennis, cycling and other lower-profile sports.
Earlier this year, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said “we aren’t anti-sports, we’re pro-profit,” implying that Netflix doesn’t think the costs for sports rights make economic sense. At the same time, he said the company was leaving the possibility open. Meanwhile, rivals like Amazon Prime Video have streamed live sports for years from leagues including the NFL, Major League Baseball, ATP, Premiere League and more.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/netflix-may-soon-livestream-a-golf-tournament-featuring-f1-drivers-and-pro-golfers-091445042.html?src=rss