Days ago, an earthquake rumbled across the surfing landscape when it was revealed that real company Netflix had considered purchasing our World Surf League in whole. Per reporting in the Wall Street Journal:
The company recently bid for the streaming rights for the ATP tennis tour for some European countries, including France and the U.K., but dropped out, one of the people said. It also discussed bidding for a series of other events including U.K. rights to the Women’s Tennis Association and cycling competitions, the people said. The company late last year was in talks to buy the World Surf League, but negotiations fell apart because the two organizations couldn’t reach an agreement on a price, people familiar with the potential deal said. Some Netflix executives believe that given the size of its platform, Netflix could turn lesser-known sports like surfing into big franchises, and create new sporting tournaments or events, the people said.
So many questions, including what the difference on price between the World Surf League and Netflix was, how radically the streaming giant would alter the tour, what would happen to CEO Erik Logan.
Things have only gotten murkier since in the wake of an ultra-cryptic tweet from Chief Revenue Officer Cherie R. Cohen.
Cohen, whose preferred pronouns are she/her, was responding to another tweet from a Media Universe Cartographer referencing the Journal piece and reading:
BREAKING: The least surprising sports news of 2022. As I’ve pointed out many times: Of all major streamers, Netflix is the only one without sports. Their interest in #sports and their newly launched ad biz coinciding, is not coincidental.
A coy winking emoji plus the hashtag #surfsUP.
What could this possibly mean?
Another buyer in the wings?
Deal not dead?