Netflix scraps Love Is Blind live event after technical failure

Signage outside the Netflix office building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, US, 19 April 2021. (Photo: Bing Guan / Bloomberg)

Netflix began streaming the special reunion episode of its dating reality show Love Is Blind a day late, after technical problems led to a delay.

“We’re no longer live, but we are now finally here,” co-host Vanessa Lachey said at the start of the programme, which became available at 3pm New York time Monday, 19 hours after it was originally scheduled.

The glitch was a high-profile failure for the company, which is trying to expand into live programming after pioneering the model where consumers could call up shows on demand.

Thousands of users reported Netflix streaming was unavailable Sunday, according to monitoring website Downdetector. #LoveIsBlindLIVE was the top global trending topic on Twitter, with Netflix building up anticipation with tweets counting down to the livestream’s commencement. The company had promised the live reunion would be the first time that viewers would be able to help pick out the questions asked of participants.

But after the widespread outages, Netflix apologised and said it would record the episode and upload it for viewers to see as soon as possible.

Netflix was down 2.4% to $330.57 at 3.25pm in New York.

Love Is Blind, a reality show where couples pair up and get engaged before meeting in person, is one of Netflix’s biggest unscripted hits. The series helped fuel subscriptions during pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and has remained popular for the streaming service. It’s produced by Kinetic Content, which was acquired by media mogul Peter Chernin’s North Road Co last year.

Netflix has begun to experiment with live programming, starting with a comedy special from Chris Rock earlier this year. The reunion episode for the dating show was set to be the biggest test of Netflix’s ability to expand beyond its on-demand video roots.

The company is due to report first-quarter results on Tuesday.

(With assistance from Lucas Shaw, Nick Turner, Vlad Savov, Michael Sin and Peter Elstrom.)


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