The company has held talks for live game rights with big leagues including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. In a matter of few months, it has talked about possibilities with the collegiate Atlantic Coast Conference, college-sports network Campus Insiders, sports website 120 Sports, the National Lacrosse League, Major League Lacrosse and the World Surf League, with the prospect of even venturing into more niche areas like the Indian Premier League cricket games and Russian hockey league matches.
Though details are still unclear, the move could be a way to attract more potential subscribers to its $99-a-year Amazon Prime program.
While Netflix (NFLX) has long considered sports on demand an unattractive investment compared with shows and movies, Amazon's push into live sports, if successful, could pose significant threat to Traditional sports pay TV such as Walt Disney (DIS) 's ESPN and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) 's WWE Network as well as tech giants like Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) , which have been adding live sports streaming into their video offerings.
In the past, Amazon has flirted with ideas of expansion and retreated in the face of obstacles. The big hurdle facing Amazon's possible break into live sports would be that many premium rights are tied up. For example, ESPN and TNT have retained the rights to show NBA games through the 2024-2025 season in February this year, meanwhile the NFL's pacts with ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC stretch through early next decade.