Netflix announces its first live streamed TV shows

Mike Wheatley

Netflix is looking to expand by dipping its toes into the world of live TV, and will start with a special edition of Chris Rock’s global stand-up show, Selective Outrage.


The video streaming giant had previously denied it was looking at getting into live streaming, similar to how it once dismissed any notion that it might introduce ads on its platform. However, it has now done an about turn and said it will kick off its first experiment with live shows, beginning with Selective Outrage, which will be streamed globally on March 5 at 3 a.m. UK time.

Robbie Praw, Netflix VP of Stand-up & Comedy Formats, said the company is delighted to be able to cover Chris Rock’s show as he is one of the “most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation”.

“We're thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history,” he added. “This will be an unforgettable moment and we're so honored that Chris is carrying this torch."

Netflix has now begun public testing of its live streaming technology, as the screenshot below indicates. What isn’t clear yet is if the live stream will support 4K, HDR or Dolby Atmos surround sound, like some of its biggest series and hit movies do.


Besides Chris Rock, Netflix said it has secured the rights to livestream the SAG Awards. It said the 2023 edition of the show will be available to watch live on the Netflix YouTube channel next month, with the 2024 edition set to move to its own platform.

"As we begin to explore live streaming on Netflix, we look forward to partnering with SAG-AFTRA to elevate and expand this special ceremony as a global live event in 2024 and the years to come," said Bela Bajaria, Netflix Head of Global TV.

It’s not yet clear what else Netflix has in store in terms of live streaming, but there have been rumours that it’s also looking at various quiz shows and competitions that would introduce a live voting aspect. In addition, there have been persistent rumours that Netflix is looking to get into live sports coverage. Assuming its live streaming platform works as expected, it may not be long before the company starts bidding for the broadcasting rights of some top sporting events.