Amazon has reportedly been discussing the possibility of acquiring sports rights with a number of US sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS with a view to incorporating live sports within its Prime, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon has reportedly considering the idea of an exclusive sports package that could be sold alongside its core Prime offering, which could help attract new customers to its US service. The ecommerce giant has also reportedly shown an interest in other sports around the world including the World Surf League, Indian Premier League (cricket), Liga MX, and the Kontinental Hockey League as it prepares for the global expansion of its streaming video service. Amazon also has a presence in eSports via the acquisition of Twitch, a live streaming service that focuses on gaming.
However, it seems more likely that any such discussions are focusing more on the mid to long-term future. At this point Firstly, all of the major leagues have deals with cable or satellite networks that run for years. Secondly, the broadband infrastructure in the US simply wouldn’t be able to withstand so many people live streaming simultaneously HD sports on a national basis, so it would be difficult to scale national sporting events like the Super Bowl.
Finally, subscription-based live sports have evolved over the last few decades, and the players who own the rights have built up strong customer databases, and they have also learned how to produce and market live sports, which will be no easy task for new entrants to replicate.