Amazon may go where Netflix won't: live sports

Amazon Fire TV interface

Amazon is allegedly looking into streaming live sports to take down traditional cable subscriptions and Netflix.

That's the word coming from Bloomberg, citing "people with knowledge of the matter." Amazon is reportedly seeking streaming rights to sports that would appeal to a global audience, including tennis, golf, soccer and car racing.

"Amazon has been leaning forward on sports," Tennis Channel Chief Executive Officer Ken Solomon tells the publication. "They want to be a new age [multiple-system operator]." Solomon claims his network has been in discussions with Amazon over streaming rights for over a year.

Wise move

If the etailer is successful in obtaining streaming rights to sports, it could give its Prime on-demand video service a huge leg up on competition like Netflix, which currently has no interest in the field.

Right now, the only way to watch live sports is to do so over the air, with a cable subscription or purchasing packages from sports organizations, like Major League Baseball.

Amazon could theoretically offer sports streaming à la carte, as it already does for TV networks like Starz and CBS' Showtime. À la carte streaming services are quickly becoming the industry norm - for example, HBO offers an internet-only subscription called HBO Now.

Amazon already has its own eSports streaming service, Twitch, which has more than 100 million monthly unique users as of August 2016. However, Twitch is facing increasing pressure from competitors like Facebook and YouTube Gaming.

It will be an uphill battle for Amazon to obtain streaming rights for sports, which are the most expensive properties in media. For perspective, ESPN pays the National Football League nearly $2 billion a year for broadcasting rights. Amazon also recently lost a bid to stream Thursday Night Football games to Twitter.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.