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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Weighs In On Streaming Wars, Agency Production, Big Tech Breakups


Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, in a lengthy sit-down with Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries, covered a host of topics, including talent agencies producing content, Disney’s streaming outlook and Netflix’s M&A future.

The pair spoke onstage Friday night at SeriesFest in Denver, an emerging TV-focused festival. The hour-and-10-minute discussion (see video clip below), which included an unusually comprehensive audience Q&A, found both executives opening up a bit more than at typical conference sessions. The event was not streamed or covered by the usual cross-section of Hollywood press and Wall Street observers who closely track every media business utterance.

After hitting on a range of topics, from Sarandos’ own origin story (which included living in Denver for five years in the 1990s) to data-mining, advertising and live sports, Fries ended the session with a “lightning round.” Calling it an “exercise” that he dubbed “buy, hold or sell,” he explained, “’Buy’ means you believe in it; it’s a winner, ‘hold’ means it’s too soon to tell, ‘I’m waiting to see;’ ‘sell’ means it’s not a winner.” The first “buy/hold/sell” question fired at Sarandos: Disney+. (Sensing intrigue, the audience of about 150 let out a murmur and a few chortles.) See more at Deadline.


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