Netflix’s SAG Awards livestream is another step toward head-to-head competition with broadcasters

The news: In a move to expand its offering, Netflix will livestream the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards from 2024. This year's SAG Awards, to be held on February 26, will be streamed on Netflix's YouTube channel; next year, it will be available to subscribers on the streaming platform itself.

  • Netflix is taking over the rights to the awards ceremony, which officially parted ways with its broadcasters, cable networks TNT and TBS, last May.

What it means: This move is part of the streaming leader’s continued exploration of bringing live programming to its service as it experiments with live broadcasting, including possibly bringing live sports to the platform. The company's first event to stream live globally will be Chris Rock's March 4 special.

  • The company has already launched an ad-supported tier (something it long opposed) to address a stall in growth after its subscribers fell for the first time in a decade last April, which it attributed to password sharing and economic factors.
  • Other streaming platforms are becoming intrigued by awards shows becoming more affordable, given their challenged broadcast ratings in recent years. Amazon Prime began streaming the Country Music Awards last year and is scheduled to do so again in 2023.

Our take: Netflix is undoubtedly moving toward live streaming, which poses a direct threat to broadcasters.

  • This should allow the company to create a variety of unscripted series that employ livestreaming, similar to TV networks airing live events for popular competition shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol.”