Global streaming giant Netflix has confirmed its next move into live sport will come in the form of a high-profile men’s tennis clash in early March.
Netflix, which made its live sports coverage debut in November through a celebrity golf tournament, will air a clash between Spanish men’s tennis stars Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal on March 3 as part of a wider tennis tournament.
The event has been titled ‘The Netflix Slam’, and will take place inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Netflix has said that more players to take part, and more matches, will be announced later.
The live broadcast will stream in both English and Spanish and is being produced by the Full Day Productions firm.
Gabe Splitzer, Netflix’s vice president of nonfiction sports, said: “I'm thrilled that with The Netflix Slam, we can allow our global audience to watch two tennis greats battle each other in a one-of-a-kind live event.”
In recent years, behind-the-scenes sports documentaries – across (most notably) tennis, motor racing, American football, golf, and soccer – have proved highly successful for Netflix, with the streaming firm now attempting to back that up with coverage of live action.
The platform’s tennis docu-series, Break Point, made its debut in January, and a second season is likely to air early next year. The action follows professionals on the top-tier ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) tours.
The Netflix Cup golf tournament, meanwhile, pitted Formula 1 drivers from the Drive to Survive series against golfers from the PGA Tour’s Full Swing offering.
The streaming heavyweight has often been linked with a move into live sports but had up until recently been unwilling to secure rights, with its co-chief executive Ted Sarandos last year stating that at that point it did not see a path to profitability in that sector.
In mid-November, meanwhile, Netflix unveiled an exclusive partnership with international pay-TV operator Setanta Sports in 13 countries.
The deal involves a new joint bundle offering that will be called Fan Pack, allowing subscribers to access both Setanta Sports and Netflix content with one subscription fee.