The news of Netflix partnering up with SAG comes as somewhat of a public reversal for Netflix, as pointed out by journalist Kyle Buchanan. Less than a year ago, Netflix head Ted Sarandos shot down any prospect of the company making a move for the Oscars or any other award telecast, saying: “We’re not really in the live broadcast space. And I think it works better live. It’s like sports.”
Netflix is moving into the live awards space, striking a deal to broadcast the SAG Awards on the streamer starting in 2024. Just 10 months ago, Ted Sarandos sounded very dismissive when I asked him about this sort of thing… a lot’s changed!https://t.co/lU1gh1Pfiq
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 11, 2023
So how’s this for an about-face? Described as “a new multi-year partnership between Netflix and the SAG Awards,” this deal marks a significant step forward for streaming services making a major play for awards recognition and prestige. Famously, Netflix has spent the last several years striving to acquire films that would set them up for awards season glory — hence their hefty investments in perennial Oscar darlings such as Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and many more. Well, this could very well be the move that puts the stigma attached to the phrase “straight-to-streaming” to bed, once and for all.
In any case, it’ll be interesting to see whether this leads to any tangible increase in viewers. Many awards shows have increasingly suffered ratings lows on national telecasts, catering more and more towards a shrinking demographic of film-obsessed fans who still care about such things. Moving a ceremony like the SAG Awards to Netflix’s YouTube account and, eventually, Netflix proper could prove to be the perfect avenue for all parties involved.
This year’s SAG Awards will air on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.