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.
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