Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will be facing off on Netflix. | Reuters


Netflix will livestream a tennis face-off between 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and current World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz on March 3, the streaming pioneer said on Monday.

"The Netflix Slam" marks the company's latest foray into live sports after a celebrity golf tournament in November, which featured Formula One drivers and professional golfers.

Live sports streaming by big tech firms has seen growing viewership in recent years and the companies are cashing in on the trend. Amazon Prime snapped up the rights to Thursday Night Football, while Apple TV hosts Friday Night Baseball and Major League Soccer.

The Nadal-Alcaraz match, hosted by MGM Resorts International, will take place at noon inside the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. More players and matches will be announced later, Netflix said in a statement.

Big tech's foray into live sports has challenged traditional TV-focused companies, for which live sports remains a rare bright spot, at a time when cord-cutting is upending their business models.

Netflix has suggested it does not plan to compete for sports rights, with finance chief Spencer Neumann saying in September that it was hard to see a return on billions of dollars of investment in live sports.

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Instead, the company plans to focus on what is called sports shoulder programming - companion content such as its "Formula 1: Drive to Survive" documentary series that hopes to tap the same audience base as live sports.

The tennis face-off between Nadal and Alcaraz will stream as a dual broadcast in English and Spanish. Tickets for the event start at $88 and will go on sale on Friday.

"I am sure it will be a fantastic night of tennis," Nadal said in a statement.

Rafael Nadal’s return to the ATP Tour is drawing ever nearer, and the road toward his comeback at the 2024 Brisbane International presented by Evie, which takes place from 31 December to 7 January, included a stop in Kuwait.

Nadal travelled to the Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait, which opened in 2020 at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah International Tennis Complex. There, he shared a training session with Arthur Fils, the 19-year-old Frenchman who recently reached the title match at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM.

“It’s great to be here in Kuwait to train for a few days. Everyone has been so welcoming. Thank you for everything,” wrote the Mallorcan on his official social media accounts.