Netflix Is Gearing Up to Take on Bill Maher and Vice


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netflixNetflix is continuing its efforts to expand its streaming service by targeting news shows.

During a conference call following its third-quarter earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos discussed the possibility of a news/talk show. “What is the likelihood we compete directly with Vice in the next two years?” Hastings said to Sarandos. “Probably high,” Sarandos answered.

“On the news side, we are definitely being more adventurous about the genres we are going into,” said Sarandos.

After the call a Netflix rep told Variety that Netflix was not interested in the “reporting and live news business.” That and the direct mentioning of Vice makes it clear that Netflix may be looking at more of a 60 Minutes-style news program.

The premium news and news talk shows have been dominated by Vice and Bill Maher in recent years. Netflix efforts to move into this market makes sense and would answer one of the few reasons to have an HBO NOW subscription.

For some time now Netflix has been moving to become more like HBO by offering high quality original content. At the same time HBO has been moving into the Netflix market by launching its own standalone subscription streaming service called HBO NOW. The battle between Netflix and HBO seems to just be getting started.

During the same conference call Sarandos said, “We are interested in being able to improve the viewing experience of whatever kind of content people are watching.”

Clearly Netflix has its eye on not only being a place that airs content made by others but also being a source for original content to replace what you would get from your cable service.

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