Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in talks with major sports leagues to exploring potential opportunities to broadcast live sporting events, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The e-commerce giant has been in talks with the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League, according to WSJ. The company also slowed interested in international sports such as surfing and soccer. Amazon plans to create exclusive premium sports package for its Amazon Prime subscribers. But the detail is unclear, sources told the WSJ.
Amazon had been investing aggressively in building its video content platform in recent years. It bets on video content to boost its advertising sales, like its fellow tech titans Twitter and Facebook. Amazon face intensive completion in the live sports streaming. Yahoo and Twitter already gained the right to stream live NFL games, which Amazon also bid on. What’s more, the traditional TV networks don’t want to give up the premium-sports market, which keeps millions of customers paying for the cable channels.
“The NFL has already dabbled with Yahoo and Twitter – why not Amazon? But I would not expect any major changes to the NFL contracts in the near future,” said Bruce Leichtman, president of the Leichtman Research Group. “I don’t think that there would be any ‘big blow’ to pay-TV coming from Amazon via live sports in the near future.”
Disney’s ESPN and TNT had the right to stream NBA games until the 2024-2025 season, while NFL had contracts with ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC until early next decade. That is another problem Amazon needs to figure out.