Netflix Orders Doc on Montreal Expos MLB Exit Amid Live Sports Push – The Hollywood Reporter

Netflix has ordered an untitled documentary about the Canadian exit of the Montreal Expos Major League Baseball club nearly 20 years ago.

Jean-François Poisson will direct the film as part of a partnership with Montreal-based indie producer Attraction. The greenlight from Netflix Canada also comes as the streaming giant expands into sports-related content after the success of the Formula 1 docuseries Drive to Survive and golf docuseries Full Swing.

Netflix has followed that up with its first live sports event, a nine-hole golf match called the Netflix Cup and to feature athletes familiar to viewers of Drive to Survive and Full Swing. Netflix is joining a number of other subscription video on-demand services — including Peacock, Apple TV+, Paramount+ and Max — in offering live sports to its subscribers, and without embracing expensive rights packages.

Despite that, with Netflix and other tech giants getting into live sports and angling for future sport rights held by legacy studios, Disney, Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery recently teamed up on a new company to combine their streaming sports rights. Their untitled streaming platform will offer live linear channels like ESPN, ABC, Fox, TNT and TBS, and games and other sports rights from all three media giants on a nonexclusive basis.

And a new focus from Netflix on pro baseball follows the streaming giant ordering a docuseries centering on the Boston Red Sox franchise. The Expos played their first game in Montreal in 1969 and in 2004 announced the team would move to Washington D.C. for the following season and become the Washington Nationals.

Netflix and other U.S.-based streaming giants are also getting deeper into local Canadian programming to, in part, impress federal politicians and regulators in Ottawa that recently passed a law that compels foreign digital platforms to invest in and promote Canadian-originated programming.

The Canadian documentary on the Montreal Expos will be executive produced by Marie-Christine Pouliot and Richard Speer.

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