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Amazon developing live sports app, report says

The sports app is part of a broader focus on securing live events for Amazon's streaming ambitions

The sports app is part of a broader focus on securing live events for Amazon's streaming ambitions

The interface of Amazon Fire TV is seen on a smart television set. (Graphic by The Desk)
The interface of Amazon Fire TV is seen on a smart television set. (Graphic by The Desk)

Amazon is developing a standalone app for live sports, part of the company’s broader push into securing rights for athletic events, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy is hopeful the tech company will secure additional rights to live sporting events, building on the handful of events that the tech company already provides to streamers, tech publication The Information reported.

Currently, Amazon holds the domestic rights to the National Football League’s Thursday evening telecasts. It also offers a handful of Major League Baseball games through its investment in YES Network, and streams Premiere League soccer matches in Europe.

Amazon offers live sports primarily through its Prime Video and Twitch streaming apps. Prime Video requires a monthly or annual fee to access — $15 a month or $150 a year, as part of a customer’s Prime membership, or slightly less for a standalone version of Prime Video without the other Prime benefits. Twitch is free to stream on phones, tablets and computers (live sports offered through Twitch can’t be streamed on television through native apps).

The Information’s report said Amazon’s standalone sports streaming app may never see the light of day. This could be especially true if the company isn’t able to secure rights to enough live sports to warrant a separate streaming app just for those events.

Amazon was one of several tech companies in the running for streaming rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, which provides access to out-of-market games broadcast on CBS and Fox stations during the regular football season. It ultimately lost the competition to Google, who was announced the winner of the NFL Sunday Ticket rights, starting with the 2023-24 football season.

In October, Amazon announced the launch of a new sports tile on its Fire TV streaming devices that collates sports highlights from a number of different sources, including the NFL, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NASCAR and the Pac 12 Networks. Live video streams of CBS Sports HQ, Stadium and other sports broadcasters are available within the app.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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