Cable News is the rabbit hole Netflix needs to go down at some point, but it may not want to yet. Bill O’Reilly is seeking a comeback, and if Netflix wanted to they certainly could tie in the powerhouse who changed Cable News as we know it.
Netflix is desperately missing two key factors that makes it stand alone from tradition cable networks. If they want to increase subscriber growth, they need sports watchers and cable news watchers.
ESPN has been the main thorn in the side of cable companies seeking to woo millennials into their fold. Some people (myself included) never ever tune in to the sports packages and would rather not spend $75 on the premium lineup for all of two channels that I watch on it.
Meanwhile, while Netflix has made a dent into comedy and documentaries, news also eludes the streaming network. Like it did with comedy, Netflix could in essence bring on powerhouse Bill O’Reilly as a push into mainstream news. Like it did with Chelsea Handler and Jerry Seinfeld, Bill O’Reilly would be a big name for Netflix to sign. This would woo older conservative viewers, and yet alienate much younger viewers. They would have to sign a liberal firebrand like Russel Brand or VICE News, to negate the effects of disappointed young people who are already striking Netflix for cancelling Sense8.
O’Reilly claims to be launching his own network to compete with Fox News. Netflix’s numbers indicates that they have more subscribes than all of cable—combined! It would be a formidable pairing. However, as the stench of the fallout from his exit still rises, he may have moved too quickly for Netflix to consider him. Had he waited a year, (and nothing says they can’t team up in the future), he could have went to Netflix to consider something. Would O’Reilly ever even want to go on Netflix? Would Netflix ever want to delve into the last arm of Television that is cable news?