One Thing Netflix Has Learned From The 'Big Live' Tom Brady Roast, According To Head Honcho Ted Sarandos

 Tom Brady speaks at The Roast of Tom Brady on Netflix.
Tom Brady speaks at The Roast of Tom Brady on Netflix.

Tom Brady really took it on the chiseled chin when he sat down alongside comedians, athletes and celebrities to be roasted live on Netflix. The Roast of Tom Brady has continued to hold a spot on the streamer’s Top Ten Shows since it aired on May 5, as people fire up their Netflix subscription to watch (and rewatch) the harshest and most hilarious jokes from the evening. It's a phenomenon that you can bet Ted Sarandos has been paying attention to, and he recently spoke about what he learned from the “big live” event.

As Netflix continues to evolve, the streamer has been getting more into live events. Several comedy specials and sporting events have already streamed live, and the platform is looking forward to several more in the near future, including the Jake Paul-Mike Tyson fight in July, NFL games on Christmas Day and becoming the home of WWE’s Monday Night Raw next year. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos talked to the New York Times about the power of the live event and what he learned specifically from The Roast of Tom Brady:

It’s really incredible, the conversation that gets driven around the world around a big live event. You know, in a world of on demand and total control, the novelty of a big live event, if it’s a Super Bowl or the Tom Brady roast, is that people get very excited that they’re all watching it at the same time. And what we saw with the Tom Brady roast was it was driving so much conversation around the world that the audience kept coming back. That is saying, well, there’s some real value in people gathering around the TV at the same time.

Not all that long ago, TV viewers knew which shows were going to be the topic of watercooler conversations the next day, but with the invention of things like DVR and especially streaming, appointment viewing has become less important. While there are still series, episodes or moments that inspire widespread conversation, it’s not as obvious beforehand what those shows will be because of the seemingly endless options available.


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Netflix logo

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Ted Sarandos said events like The Roast of Tom Brady harkened back to those days when you watched something because — if for no other reason — that’s what everybody else was going to be talking about. The beautiful thing for Netflix is that now people who weren’t able to witness the roast’s craziest moments in person or who may not have caught it live can still catch up by streaming it and then join in the conversation.

It’s easy to see how The Roast of Tom Brady is such a perfect example of this formula working, So many jokes and moments from the night went viral, and while you may not be able to hear the crowd booing Kim Kardashian — Netflix edited that out — people definitely want to witness the joke that Tom Brady was legit upset about, see Rob Gronkowski go wildly off-script and hell, even to see why Ben Affleck’s set bombed.

Tom Brady may have had his regrets about agreeing to be roasted live on Netflix, but Ted Sarandos and the rest of the higher-ups at Netflix learned quite a bit too, and I think we’re likely in for lots of big, live events in the future. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can stream The Roast of Tom Brady, and be sure to see what else is new and coming soon to Netflix.