Amazon reportedly wants to add live sports packages to Prime

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

If Amazon has its way, its Prime Video service might one day serve as your one stop shop for live sports broadcasts.

Sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant has conducted talks with representatives from major sports leagues including the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball as well as smaller organizations such as Major League Soccer, Major League Lacrosse, the National Lacrosse League and college sports network Campus Insider with regard to licensing rights to carry live games.

Details are still fluid although one person said Amazon has proposed the idea of creating a premium sports package that would serve as an add-on of sorts for Prime subscribers.

Amazon has also reportedly asked traditional TV networks for access to games they own the broadcasting rights to but don’t actually air. For example, Univision has the rights to broadcast Mexican soccer league games but doesn’t air all of them. Amazon believes it could make a business out of these unused games.

If Amazon could somehow break into the live sports market with top-tier content on offer, it would be a serious threat to similarly-minded new-age media players like Sling TV and even social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Getting network executives and broadcasting partners to let go of their traditional business model – one that is incredibly lucrative, mind you – won’t be easy.

Another major hurdle is the fact that many leagues are already locked into long-term deals with broadcasters. The NBA’s deal with ESPN and TNT, for example, runs through the 2025 season while the NFL has agreements in place with CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN through early next decade.

Image courtesy Lightspring, Shutterstock

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TS Addict
First thing to do with massive positive cash flow is buy CBS, et al and then own the sports contracts. Just eliminating the production of 'reality shows' from the lineup would pay for the cost of acquisition and would lose zero audience. Looked at my cable lineup for this week. Right now I would dump cable and buy all online access, except you can't get the MLB and NBA (wife's channels) without it. So, a stop paying a couple hundred a month so I can have 'access' to what I really want to watch individually? Easy choice Netflix. Easy.


TS Forces Special
Right now I would dump cable and buy all online access, except you can't get the MLB and NBA (wife's channels) without it. So, a stop paying a couple hundred a month so I can have 'access' to what I really want to watch individually? Easy choice Netflix. Easy.
$120ish a year for subscription, probably similar for NBA. Then a few bucks a month for a VPN to get around region restrictions. You could do it now. Its just a matter of is it worth the small amount of effort to get it set up and the change of mindset to have to use something like an AppleTV, Roku, FireTV, or Chromecast to watch a game than picking up a cabletv remote...


TS Addict
If only it were that easy. MLB and NBA broadcasts are licensed through 2020 and 2025 respectively by the major channels and have separate contracts carrying them through cable. There are times, when even having the subscription does not allow them to be watched on Roku because they are being broadcast locally over the air and being carried on cable. To see them on a Roku, et al, you must log in with your cable subscription information and then be marked (cookied I presume) on the Roku so you don't have to repeat the process everytime a new game is broadcast or you get kicked because one of the servers companies in the path downgrade the bandwidth for their own priority packets.

There was a company in Canada carrying American over-the-air feeds for a while and I checked into them thinking I could VPN into their area but theres (sic) laws about that there (go figure).

My wife buys MLB and NBA (actually cheaper than most valentines and anniversary gifts) and with our cable subscription, she watches. She was even able to watch in another state visiting our daughter using her cable feed. But the cable subscription is required.

The thought of moving is going away. Trump's people are very pro-business and cable is a big profit generator for the larger money managers. Eviscerating the FCC seems to be on their agenda. It is a shame. Mr. Wheeler will stand in history as a man with principles and understanding of the issues in this first age of data. If you get the chance, send a note to the FCC and wish him well wherever he goes. That is a good man.


TS Forces Special
I know for a fact that you can do MLB without a cable subscription. For the last 2 years I have bought the $130ish package for and watched St. Louis and Kansas City games on my AppleTV. In order to do this I must use a SmartDNS or VPN since I live in mid-Missouri and I'm region blocked by MLB. I would imagine NBA games are the same. Doing it this way is not really 'legal' since I'm faking my location, but I am paying for the content and it isn't cheap.. But it is cheaper than paying for cable throughout the year.