While Netflix is still the most formidable force in the streaming world, Amazon has always had its eye on the throne. It shouldn’t come as a shock, then, that the latter is reportedly looking into obtaining the rights to live sporting events, as a way to bolster Prime subscriptions.
According to Bloomberg, the streamer is kicking the tires on global sports like tennis, golf, auto racing, and the granddaddy of them all — soccer (“football,” of course, for our international audience).
But Amazon’s ambitions may be grander still, as the outlet is even exploring the possibility of acquiring the rights to domestic sports like baseball and basketball. Those are locked up for the next few years at least, but once the current contracts are up: Who knows?
It will be a tough nut to crack, but perhaps a more realistic point of entry could be taking sports leagues that have dedicated networks with their own streaming infrastructure (MLB, NFL, NBA) and offering add-ons to Prime. The streamer has integrated Showtime using this model already, so it’s not a huge stretch to imagine such a scenario. Of course, that would mean that sports-loving Prime subscribers would have to pay for an extra service on top of their standard membership dues.
For his part, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has shown little interest in adding live sports to the company’s streaming lineup. He has argued that it doesn’t fit with the on-demand nature of the service, but Amazon seems to disagree.
And Amazon disagrees vehemently enough, in fact, that the firm has had internal discussions about accumulating enough sports licenses to create a separate, sports-centric product.
Well, no one ever accused Amazon of not dreaming big.
We’ll have to wait and see how this works out, but be sure to stay tuned to this space.