While obviously nothing is imminent, if Amazon could acquire the rights to a few sports leagues, that could be a game-changer.
Because right now Amazon Prime Video is a nice luxury for those of us whose parents have Amazon Prime but isn’t an essential in the way Netflix is. But if Amazon were able to create a premium sports package then not only would it become a more serious player in streaming, but it would eliminate my last excuse for paying way too much for cable.
Basically any show you want to watch right now, you can stream and that’s only going to accelerate in the coming years. But live games are what still makes a cable box necessary for us single dudes who watch sports every night to try to escape our feelings of loneliness. Put all those games on Amazon Prime and it completely changes the equation.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news:
With at least some leagues, including the NBA, Amazon has floated the idea of creating an exclusive premium sports package available with its Amazon Prime program, though the details are unclear, the people said. Such a package could attract new members to the $99-a-year Prime program, which offers expedited shipping and streaming video, as well as to a “skinny bundle” of live online channels that Amazon is pursuing.
Of course, it’ll be extremely challenging for Amazon to acquire the rights for such a service.
One big hurdle: many premium rights are tied up. The NBA’s deal with ESPN and TNT stretches until the 2024-2025 season, while the NFL’s pacts with ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC run through early next decade. Many college conferences’ rights lie with various TV networks. And Disney’s recent investment in BAMTech means ESPN’s untapped sports rights likely will land in its coming multisport streaming service with BAMTech, a person familiar with ESPN’s thinking said.