Did Netflix Hint at Live Streaming in ‘High Flying Bird’?

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

High Flying Bird Live Streaming Netflix 1

While watching High Flying Bird on Netflix, the brand new sports drama from Steven Soderbergh, Netflix may have given us the first hints that it may eventually move into the live streaming world.

The movie is all about the players vs. the NBA during a lockout, which is when both sides can’t agree on payment terms going forward. As a Brit, the concept is relatively alien, but even the US government operates in this fashion with shutdowns. Again, it is completely foreign, which means watching this movie was relatively tedious.

Did Netflix hint at live streaming in the future?

Netflix has been the king of adding TV series, documentaries, movies, and stand-up specials and has ventured into music concerts and talk shows in recent years too. One thing they’ve never done is live-streaming. In fact, except a few promotion bits, the only live stream Netflix has consistently done is their investor calls.

Here’s exactly what was said and the context in which it was said.

Around an hour into the movie, at the height of the NBA lockout, which left players and agents ever more desperate for scraps of the dwindling funds, a revelation comes to Ray Burke (played by André Holland).

Shortly before, a confrontation between two players in a local gym went viral, sparking videos. At a press conference, Ray tried to pass himself off as the mastermind behind the stunt, prompting a series of offers from multiple players in the streaming world.

Ray At Press Conference High Flying Bird

Andre Holland in High Flying Bird (2019)

“Facebook called and said they’d pay you and Umber for streaming rights to your one-on-one.” to which Erick replied, “How much?”.  Ray goes onto say he rejected it to the disgust of Erick who queried why. Now here comes the most important line.

“‘Cause Netflix wants a sit-down tomorrow. They only don’t have live streaming, but we could lead their market.”

Is this hinting at things to come, a subtle tease, or are we simply reading into it too much?

Later in the movie, however, it was said that Ray met with Hulu “or somebody,” which probably means it didn’t work out with Netflix.

Netflix is slowly moving into sports.

Netflix has expanded into many genres, and 2019 is the year it expands into motorsport, with a series of new projects related to F1 in the works.

Amazon is moving into this arena, too, having covered the US Open Tennis live exclusively last year, although to mixed success.

Of course, Hulu is dominating in the space, with the traditional networks on its Hulu Live service.

This could be pie in the sky, but it is perhaps an inevitable future for Netflix.

Written by

Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.