So apparently, Amazon really, REALLY likes live sports.
The report that Amazon is working on a standalone sports streaming app is the latest potential development across the U.S. viewing landscape, as live sports have become the darling of major streaming services.
The move, which appears to be still in the discussion phase, was reported this week by The Information. It would add to the live sports content Amazon already offers through the company’s Prime Video platform — Thursday Night Football, along with Premier League coverage in the UK and New York Yankees games in four states.
The new app would expand on these investments and likely make Amazon an even bigger player in an area that has already proven lucrative for them.
Amazon spent $1 billion to get exclusive rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football for 11 years beginning this season. It paid off right away, as the very first game it streamed, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers, reportedly was the “most watched night of primetime in the U.S.” in Prime Video’s history.
But the move toward Amazon Sports (name and projected rollout TBD) is just the latest development in a crowded field of streaming services moving toward appointment television by broadcasting live sports.
Google and YouTube take on NFL Sunday Ticket
Last week, Google reached a deal to broadcast NFL Sunday Ticket on two YouTube iterations, beginning in 2023. The deal was worth roughly $2 billion a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Currently available on DIRECTV, Sunday Ticket will be broadcast on YouTube TV as an add-on and also will be made available through YouTube through its Premium Channels feature.
Apple TV to show every MLS game — for an additional price
Apple and Major League Soccer reached a deal in June to show every league game, along with the Leagues Cup (a tournament that also features teams from Mexico’s Liga MX), without blackout restrictions on Apple TV.
However, to watch all the games, users will have to sign up to use MLS Season Pass for $12.99 a month/$79 a season for AppleTV+ subscribers or $14.99 a month/$99 a season for non-subscribers. AppleTV+ subscribers will get to watch a selection of MLS and Leagues Cup games for no additional cost.
And then there’s all the sports already out there
Across the packed live sports streaming scene, arguably the biggest dog out there is Disney, whose WatchESPN and ESPN+ apps show men’s and women’s college sports, NHL, and multiple European soccer leagues (Spain and Germany, among others), along with anything being broadcast on the ESPN networks. You can get ESPN+ via a standalone fee for just the ESPN apps or include it in a Disney+ bundle.
If you’re a fan of soccer, you probably already know that top leagues are spread across several apps: Paramount+ has the Champions League, Europa League, and Italy’s Serie A; FuboTV carries several European and South American leagues; and NBC’s Peacock has England’s Premier League.
Other sports are spread out among apps as well. Baseball, for example, can be seen on MLB.TV (Major League Baseball’s own service), AppleTV+ (Friday nights), Peacock (Sunday mornings), and, of course, local cable networks.
The NBA also has its own subscription services, NBA TV and NBA League Pass, in addition to games being made available on ESPN+ and various cable networks.
The report on Amazon’s plans to claim more territory in the ever-evolving world of streaming live sports content follows scrutiny of the company’s financial performance. Although details on Amazon’s new app remain to be seen, one thing fans can count on is continued competition in the valuable arena of live sports viewership.