Amazon is planning a standalone application for its live sports content as the technology giant doubles down on Prime Video, according to a report by The Information.
The company sees sport as a valuable acquisition and retention tool for its core retail business and has assembled a portfolio of sports rights in key markets.
Prime Video now has the live rights to the National Football League’s (NFL) Thursday night games in the US, the Premier League in the UK, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in Brazil, while it has also launched a slate of original sports talk shows.
Amazon reportedly believes that shifting this content from the standard Prime Video application to a dedicated destination will aid discoverability, highlight the range of sports content available to subscribers, and allow the company find new ways to monetise its acquisitions.
It is unclear when such an application would launch however, and the firm has yet to decide whether to proceed with the plan. Amazon has been contacted by SportsPro for comment.
Amazon’s first forays into the sports broadcasting market were largely experimental but now it is a major player in key markets in North America, Europe and beyond, competing for rights that will draw more subscribers into its wider ecosystem of services.
The Information notes that Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy recently highlighted live sport as a key priority at a time when the company is looking to cut costs in unprofitable areas of its business.
However, discoverability has never been Prime Video platform’s strong suit. Major events are given prominence on the home page, but it was only when a dedicated sports tab was added that all Amazon’s content was housed in one place.
Meanwhile, Amazon has been fairly opportunistic in its rights acquisition strategy, focusing around major shopping periods rather than becoming a major destination for sports fans. However, Jassy’s comments and the billions that it has invested in premium rights – not to mention the properties it had missed out on – are indicative of greater ambition.
A standalone sports application would not just aid discoverability but would let fans know that the company is serious about sport.
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