The Netflix “Love Is Blind” Reunion Saga Has Failed: Streaming Chris Rock Comedy Special and Live Live Comedy for the Primer, Amazon Prime and Major League Baseball
Netflix’s attempt to offer a live “Love is Blind” reunion show hit a snag on Sunday, as the leading streaming service tries to incorporate live events into its menu, a process begun with the recent Chris Rock comedy special.
The company is not used to airing live events. The only live show to air on Netflix came on March 4 when it live-streamed “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage,” a standup special from the comedian. That streamed without a hitch.
Netflix’s rivals have found success with live streaming. Amazon Prime started airing Thursday Night Football last year. Apple TV+ partners with Major League Baseball for select games. The live space has also been used by other competitors.
Streaming Love is Blind: How Television Has Generated Appearance in the Pop Culture Landscape and What We Can Learn From Its Misstep
There are couples in the love is blind series who propose before seeing one another. It helped the company solidify its reality TV chops when it started streaming three years ago, at a time when traditional network and broadcast television were essentially the only places to get a reality fix.
The NCAA basketball tournament, improved Oscar ratings and the pivot to the NBA playoffs show that live events and sports remain very much a part of television. Fans are more likely to watch live than their favorites, and advertisers are less prone to get them to click on their ads because of this.
While streaming built subscribers with a consumer-friendly “Have it your way” approach – basically telling viewers that they can watch at their own pace, including the ability to binge series in their entirety over a few days – they have also seen wisdom in experimenting with more conventional, old-school distribution patterns.
Specifically, more streamers have come around to the notion of releasing episodes at weekly intervals versus binge drops allowing the audience to devour them all at once. The more traditional pattern has been seen as an asset for HBO shows like “The Last of Us” and currently “Succession” and “Barry,” building suspense and excitement. (Like CNN, HBO is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
In a discussion of pros and cons of the practice,NPR critic Eric Deggans pointed out that the release spreads the effect of a show on the Zeitgeist. It gets other people’s attention when they start talking about it, and then it becomes a snowball that goes through the pop culture landscape.
Still, for cable and broadcast channels trying to make the case for their continued relevance and viability, the argument might be as simple as pointing to something like Netflix’s “Love is Blind” misstep, and the fact that streaming services have developed a keen interest in providing a facsimile of what they’ve been doing all along.