Netflix, Inc. Says “Liveness” Will Be Saving Grace For TV

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Netflix, which is viewed as one of the primary reason for the declining popularity of network TV, believes live sports and awards shows will be the “saving grace” for television producers going forward. The U.S. streaming service believes that in the future television will be about events, award shows and live sports, as these are programs that streaming services can’t replicate.

Live-events a USP for TVs

On Wednesday, in a media conference in New York, Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, said the “linear television,” which includes traditional cable and satellite programming, will become “even more linear.”

Though traditional TV viewing hours is going down among the Americans, viewing of live events remains high, says a report from Business Insider. For instance, the Super Bowl witnessed a record 114.4 million viewers, while last month’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao broke all-time records. The college football national championship game between Ohio State and Oregon was the most watched event ever on ESPN. But when it comes to scripted programming, Sarandos believes streaming services are the best option.

Sarandos said that TV is ‘fantastic’ when it comes to ‘liveness,’ adding “I think the real saving grace for television is they’ll focus on the other things and make it more event-oriented… But I think that’s the natural migration.”

Netflix, Hulu attracting more viewers

Over the last few years, it has been noticed that viewers are shifting more towards streaming services, which is minimizing the time spent on watching live TV. However, traditional TV viewing still accounts for a major chunk of the average American’s viewing time. According to Nielsen, in the fourth-quarter of last year, an average American spent five-hours a day watching live and on-demand TV. However, this was a decline of 4% from the same period last year.

On the other hand, the time spent watching video online from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu increased 39% for the same period to 35 minutes per day. Keep in mind the time spent on streaming services would be much higher if one also considers streaming on a smartphone or through a streaming device like a Roku or the use of gaming consoles such as the Xbox.

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