Netflix, Fox Discreetly Forge New Sports Partnership

Netflix, Fox Discreetly Forge New Sports Partnership

Published: March 22, 2024

Streaming giant Netflix and media conglomerate Fox have quietly rolled out their new ad partnership in sports content over the past few months.

Streaming services have become a staple in households, with Netflix leading the way having amassed over 260 million subscribers globally as of December 2023, with its ad-supported plan surpassing 23 million active subscribers.

Netflix and Fox’s collaboration is proof of how, in recent years, streaming services and traditional media have converged.

The partnership of two entertainment powerhouses marks a major shift in how ad effectiveness is measured and how companies navigate the media industry.

Approaching Advertising Metrics in a New Way

The sports ad deal between Netflix and Fox was stealthily tested last November during the NFL Sunday event, which is one of the highest-rating shows on TV.

In a special segment, former NFL player Julian Edelman engaged with acclaimed film director Zack Snyder to promote the sci-fi epic "Rebel Moon" on Netflix.

The experiment was conducted in collaboration with media buying agency Interpublic Group’s Mediahub.

However, what set this execution apart was its departure from traditional TV ratings guarantees.

Instead of relying on Nielsen ratings, the effectiveness of the ad was gauged through social media engagement metrics, including interactions on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

“The way it was calculated was through likes and shares and retweets and comments and people posting and video views,” Fox Sports Executive VP for Ad Sales Mark Evans explained.

“All these different components added up to make our guarantee for this, versus an impression based on a Nielsen-rated metric,” he added.

Building Netflix’s Sports Content

As part of its partnership with Fox, Netflix announced on March 19 that the “Quarterback” sports documentary will be getting a second season, "Receiver."

On top of posting on Netflix’s official social media accounts and publishing a press release, Fox Sports also wrote a story about it on its website.

“As we did with ‘Quarterback,’ we look forward to telling the stories of five incredible receivers, each with their unique personality, skill set, and motivation for what drives them to be the best,” former quarterback and “Receivers” executive producer, Peyton Manning, said in a statement.

On top of streaming WWE shows at the beginning of 2024, Netflix also signed a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) in February for two documentaries centered on the Boston Red Sox.

Disrupting the Advertising World

As streaming platforms continue to gain prominence, advertisers are compelled to explore new avenues to connect with viewers in a meaningful and impactful way.

This is also manifested in the recent joint venture between Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Fox to introduce a comprehensive sports streaming service.

By combining forces, these industry giants aim to offer a platform that encompasses a wide array of sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and the FIFA World Cup.

The initiative provides fans with access to live games and promises an extensive library of sports-related programming, enhancing the overall viewing experience for sports enthusiasts.

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