Netflix's Break Point results in social media follower increase for tennis players
The GIST: Netflix may be feeling down, but the stars of its docuseries Break Point are on the up. According to a Monday report, social media follower counts rose for the tennis players profiled in the first five episodes of the show, which aims to build hype for the sport and its up-and-comers.
The details: Of the nine athletes who appeared in the pre-Australian Open episode batch, world No. 7 Maria Sakkari saw the second highest follower growth since the show’s debut. Her Instagram and Twitter audience increased by 10.3%, only behind ATP counterpart Taylor Fritz, whose follower count rose 13.9%.
- Below Sakkari in third was No. 21 Paula Badosa with 9.3% follower growth, No. 35 Ajla Tomljanović ranked fourth after her social following rose by 7.1% and No. 3 Ons Jabeur landed in seventh with 3.4% audience growth.
- Growth can be attributed almost entirely to Break Point, as none of the show’s stars progressed past the fourth round of the Aussie Open. A deep run packs plenty of social punch, though — new champ Aryna Sabalenka’s followers jumped 27.2% without Netflix's help.
The context: Despite generating social buzz for the show’s stars, Netflix hasn’t converted its break point. The docuseries didn’t make the streamer’s global top 10 most-watched programs in its first week and hasn’t yet reached Drive to Survive–like heights — its 2022 season earned 4.14 million viewers in its first week.
- The Formula One (F1) docuseries from the same producers wasn’t an instant success, though. Season three viewership outperformed season one, bucking a typical Netflix trend. No sophomore slump here.
Zooming out: Break Point’s stars are still feeling the show’s impact even with less than ideal viewership numbers, and so could their sponsors. Take F1 as an example — the Drive to Survive bump has made the sport more lucrative, with total team sponsorships worth an estimated $961.25 million last year.
- Netflix will also have the chance to recalibrate its strategy with upcoming episodes, which promise more star power than the first batch — rising star Sabalenka and world No. 1 Iga Świątek are listed on the schedule of play.