The future. Amazon is seeing green with sports — the company is considering debuting a standalone service to house its live sports content. It would potentially cost extra, giving Amazon another line of revenue for its Prime service. But with sports rights now being the first draft pick for streamers (YouTube and the NFL, Apple and MLS), Amazon may need to move fast to lock up a league to make the stand-alone app worth it to customers.
Out in front
Amazon is making a big play to become a force in sports.
- Per The Information, Amazon may roll out a stand-alone streaming app for all of its sports content, including Thursday Night Football, Premier League soccer matches, and Yankees games in New York.
- It’s possible that it would be a paid add-on to a normal Prime membership in order to boost revenue (and quickly make back the billions it has spent on rights). It already does this in France with Ligue 1 soccer games.
There’s no release date yet for the app, and it’s still undecided if it will ever officially launch.
Sports has proven to be a big success for Amazon, with Thursday Night Football already bringing in a huge crowd and proving live sports can succeed on streaming.
CEO Andy Jassey is thrilled about that, saying at a recent DealBook event that “sports is such a unique asset. If you look every year at the most watched programs, sports often occupy 75% of those spots. And you know, they drive live engagement, and they drive Prime subscriptions.”
It’s a good thing sports bring in so many eyeballs — it’s expensive. Being a global service, Amazon would need to make deals worldwide for regional sports rights, which can add up fast. Case in point: Viacom18 and Disney Star paid a combined $6 billion just for the rights to the Indian Premier League cricket matches. Amazon will need to compete on that level in every country to flesh out a standalone app.