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Chris Rock's upcoming comedy special will be Netflix's first-ever livestream

Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Netflix is finally ready to dip into livestreaming months after word emerged of its plans. The service has confirmed that Chris Rock will debut a comedy special live on the service sometime in early 2023. He's the "first artist" to receive the distinction, the company says, and the stream will be available worldwide.

The firm revealed its live show strategy following a Deadline scoop this May. At the time, Netflix said it would focus on unscripted material like stand-up specials, competition shows and an upcoming Netflix is a Joke festival. In theory, you could vote on a reality TV series or watch a raw comedy gig with mistakes intact.

The expansion isn't a shock when some of Netflix's main rivals have at least some form of livestreaming in place. Disney+ livestreamed Oscar nominations in February, and will air live episodes of Dancing With the Stars this fall. Others focus heavily on sports. Amazon Prime Video broadcasts weekly NFL matches, for example, while Apple TV+ has Friday Night Baseball. These offerings give you a reason to either join a service or stay subscribed when you've exhausted the usual on-demand fare.

Netflix also hasn't been shy about experimenting with different formats beyond its linear movies and TV shows. It has offered trivia shows and other interactive programming, and is diving further into mobile games. Livestreams could help Netflix further diversify its content and help it avoid a repeat of this year's subscriber losses.