by Moxye Staff
Netflix is reportedly in advanced talks with former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama for an exclusive series.
The Los Gatos-based company is mulling over the final terms of a proposed deal that would pay the couple for a series that would give them a “global platform,” the New York Times reported Thursday.
The company, which has 118 million subscribers worldwide, would give the former president a chance to tell inspirational stories, the Times said, citing unnamed sources close to the discussions. The format of the series and the amount of shows are still reportedly undetermined.
Apple and Amazon.com have also courted the former president for content deals, the Times reported.
Media giants like Walt Disney Co. and HBO and tech companies like Amazon and Apple are battling it out for original content to draw viewers, who are increasingly cutting cords when it comes to entertainment and media options.
Netflix has said it could spend as much as $8 billion on content this year and has shown it will pay top dollar for original hits like “Stranger Things.” CEO Reed Hastings expects Netflix to earn $15 billion in revenue this year, compared to $11 billion it earned last year.
Neither Apple nor Netflix immediately responded to requests for comment on the potential discussions.
Since leaving office in January 2017, Obama, 55, has since made several television appearances — the most notable on David Letterman’s new Netflix program “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” earlier this year.
The New York Times said the price Netflix is considering paying the Obamas is still unknown. They are reportedly getting paid $60 million for a book deal with Penguin Random House, according to reports that surfaced last week.
The former president is attracted to Netflix as a streaming partner because it would offer an “unfiltered method” of communication similar to that of social media channels Twitter and Facebook, the New York Times said.
Sources told the Times that there are a couple different potential formats for the show. One potential idea is having Obama moderate conversations on topics that “dominated his presidency,” including healthcare and climate change. Another program proposal would cover nutrition and healthier eating, one of the signature initiatives of Michelle Obama’s tenure as First Lady. A fictional series that depicts topics the couple has been vocal about is reportedly another potential programming option.
“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR,” President Obama told Letterman during his program in January. However, the potential streaming content isn’t expected to aim at Republicans or Fox News, the report states.
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