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Here’s why Netflix has no interest in live TV

Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing was “not very joyful,” says Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos.

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2018 - Day 1
Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos.
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Everywhere except Netflix, of course — and don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

When Netflix’s content boss Ted Sarandos spoke at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on Tuesday, former Cosmo editor Joanna Coles asked him why Netflix doesn’t get into live TV, like streaming the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.

“We’re primarily embraced as an entertainment brand. That kind of watching you’re describing is a lot of things, but not terribly entertaining,” Sarandos replied. “Now, 10 years from now, five years from now, that’s going to be an amazing [documentary] series.”

The Kavanaugh hearing may not have been pleasant to watch for a lot of people, but it certainly was popular. More than 20 million people tuned into the hearing across a number of networks, more people than the average audience for “Sunday Night Football” in 2017, the most popular regularly scheduled program on all of TV.

Sarandos didn’t touch on whether or not he is interested in other kinds of live TV, like live sports. Netflix has often been considered a logical bidder for live sports rights, like the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package, which recently went to Amazon. But he doesn’t seem to care how popular news or politics are. Those topics, at least, don’t vibe with the company’s brand, Sarandos added.

“We’re a global brand, and our primary focus is consumer joy,” he said. “That is watching, but it’s not very joyful.”

This article originally appeared on

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