Ted Sarandos Regrets Comparing Netflix To HBO & Why He’s Not Interested In The “Breaking News” Business


Ted Sarandos opens up about a comment he made in the early days of Netflix and reveals why he’s not interested in the breaking news business.

In a new interview, the Netflix CEO said he would take back a 2012 quote in which he compared his platform to HBO.

“I said we’re going to become HBO before HBO could become us,” Sarandos said in an interview with The New York Times. “At that time, HBO was the gold standard of original programming. What I should have said back then is, We want to be HBO and CBS and BBC and all those different networks around the world that entertain people, and not narrow it to just HBO.”

He continued, “Prestige elite programming plays a very important role in culture. But it’s very small. It’s a boutique business. And we’re currently programming for about 650 million people around the world. We have to have a very broad variety of things that people watch and love. So we take a consumer view of quality. The people who love Ginny & Georgia will tell you, Ginny & Georgia is great.”

As Netflix continues to explore new content avenues, they’ve been investing more in live TV like The Greatest Roast of All Time: Tom Brady and landing the NFL Christmas Day games. However, don’t expect the streamer to launch a live newscast.

“We don’t do breaking news and that kind of thing, because I think there’s a lot of other outlets for it. People aren’t looking to us for that,” he said.

Sarandos also discussed how he thinks Barbie and Oppenheimer would’ve been just as big on the streaming platform as they were at the box office and says the success of Baby Reindeer was due to their algorithm.

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