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Netflix co-CEO yet to see a path to profitability in 'renting big sports'

Premiere for the film "The School for Good and Evil" in Los Angeles

(Reuters) -Netflix Inc co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos on Tuesday said he has yet to see a path to profitability in live sports on the streaming service.

Sarandos said the economics of professional sports were built around the economics of television - and buying rights is expensive.

"We've not seen a profit path to renting big sports today," Sarandos told the UBS Global TMT conference.

Rival streaming services Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video have added live professional sports competitions, acquiring rights to major league soccer and the NFL's Thursday night games, respectively. NBCUniversal simultaneously streams via Peacock the Sunday Night Football games it broadcasts on television.

Sarandos said Netflix has been able to add subscribers without the lure of big sporting events, such as the Super Bowl. He said he is "confident" the service can double in size without streaming live sports, although he did not rule it out entirely.

"We're not anti-sports, we're just pro-profit," Sarandos said. "We have yet to figure out how to do it."

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller)