Netflix emulates old-school cable TV playbook with addition of live sport

 Jan. 24 (Reuters) After a quarter in which Netflix maintained its streaming video dominance, its $5 billion deal to broadcast live wrestling suggests it is copying cable TV.  

 Netflix announced Tuesday that it will transmit WWE's flagship weekly program, "Raw," from next year, extending its investment in live,,,

 programming and offering its international subscribers other weekly wrestling shows including "SmackDown." View Ad · Continue Scrolling.

 Although Netflix officials insisted the transaction did not reflect a change in its focus on entertainment, it places Netflix on a collision path with traditional media as it expands its advertising business.  

 Netflix can mix its prestige dramas like "The Crown," reality shows like "Squid Game: The Challenge.

 and movies like Bradley Cooper's Oscar-nominated "Maestro" with live sports and entertainment.  

 "Streaming is recreating the cable bundle," said Needham & Co. senior analyst Laura Martin.  

 Amazon Prime Video (AMZN.O), Apple TV+ (AAPL.O), Warner Bros Discovery's (WBD.O),,,

 Max, and other streaming services offer live professional sports.  

 Netflix reported 13.1 million December customers, its largest-ever fourth-quarter gain, on Tuesday.  

 Netflix is exploring new growth opportunities as streaming reaches cable TV's peak following the WWE acquisition.  

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