Netflix Exploring Live Streaming for Unscripted & Stand-Up Specials

While the festival might be called "Netflix Is A Joke," April was no laughing matter as the streaming service found itself facing some major hits to its subscriber numbers. To say that wasn't what Wall Street was looking for would be an understatement, with Netflix taking a single-day hit the likes of which they hadn't seen in some time. Suddenly, the "Too Big To Fail" streamer was looking a wee bit shaky. So it's apparently back to the drawing board, with the streamer taking an ax to its animation division and cracking down on subscribers sharing passwords. In addition, they've even reversed course on going with an ad-supported lower-priced teaser (though nothing yet on re-examining their binge drop/all-at-once philosophy). And according to Deadline Hollywood, it appears Netflix is also exploring adding live-streaming to its services, which would open up more possibilities when it comes to ordering unscripted shows, stand-up specials, and other live events (just not sports… at least not yet?).

Netflix logo on smartphone screen. Popular broadcasting service Netflix. Afyonkarahisar, Turkey – April 4, 2022. (Emre Akkoyun/

So what does this mean, exactly? For you reality show folks, what this could mean is live voting during competition rounds & talent shows on any number of shows, as well as reunion shows. And since we already mentioned the streamer's comedy festival, that event and others like Geeked Week could be set up to stream live & in-the-moment. Two interesting points to consider. First, as much as the move would be in response to Netflix's rough April, it would be tough to not at least consider that Disney moving Dancing with the Stars from ABC to Disney+ for live shows wasn't also a factor. Second, even though what you just read doesn't apply to sports? One would have to think that Netflix diving into the sports live-streaming waters is inevitable once their tech is in place. As for a time frame for all of this to rollout, viewers shouldn't be expecting anything soon as DH lists the development as being in its "preliminary stages."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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