Netflix has big plans for 2017. After recently announcing that it plans to make half of its content original programming in the coming years, the company also said it would be coming out with 20 unscripted shows in 2017. First reported by VarietyNetflix plans to double the amount of original content to 1,000 hours in 2017, including new unscripted series like the Global Competition Show Ultimate Beastmasterproduced by Sylvester Stallone and The biggest loser executive producer Dave Broome.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos spoke about his company’s plans at Monday’s UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York. Sarandos said unscripted content is a “very interesting business” and that Netflix will focus on shows that have the potential to reach an international audience. Ultimate Beastmaster will feature athletes and announcers from the US, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan, with each country recording its portion of the show in its own native language and following athletes who compete across an obstacle course called “The Beast”. At the end of the 10-episode run, one athlete is crowned Ultimate Beastmaster.
Sarandos quoted the company’s hit show Weird stuff as a milestone in Netflix’s original programming journey. It was the first series that Netflix produced and developed in-house, and thanks to its popularity, the company is already working on season two. However, Netflix doesn’t want to be an entirely original streaming company. While the company continues to develop unique show and movie ideas, it still plans to have 50 percent of its content be all-original programming. Sarandos mentioned the recent reboot of Gilmore Girls as an example where licenses and collaboration ensured the best results. “Warner Bros. owned the IP. There was no model that I could do that myself,” said Sarandos Variety. “We had a unique ability to do it.”
Sarandos also stressed that live sports is an area that Netflix stays out of, as it isn’t the best platform for streaming live events. “Today, don’t expect us to bid for league rights,” Sarandos said, but added that “making a league could be interesting.”