Amazon is reportedly developing a new standalone video app for sports content. According to a report from The Information (paywalled) citing a person with direct knowledge of the plan, the new sports app reflects Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s big plans for Amazon Prime Video.
“Jassy recently highlighted streaming rights for live sports in particular as a place he’ll likely keep spending even as Amazon steps up its efforts to cut costs in other areas of its business. And the plan for a separate app suggests Amazon could be thinking about new ways to squeeze revenue out of the billions of dollars in deals it has inked to stream live sports events, which so far it has included in the standard Prime membership,” the report reads.
Last year, Amazon scored an 11-year agreement with the NFL to launch Thursday Night Football on its Prime Video platform. The deal includes 15 regular-season games and one preseason game per year, with new pregame, halftime, and postgame shows also available on Prime Video. The first Thursday Night Football episode on September 15 brought 15.3 million viewers across all platforms, which according to Amazon had “more viewers than any other program on broadcast or cable Thursday night.”
Around the world, Amazon also offers access to top-tier sports competitions on Prime Video such as the football Premier League in the UK, the UEFA Champions League football in Germany and Italy, or the Roland Garros (Paris Masters) tennis tournament in France. Slowly but surely, the company’s growing lineup of live sports might justify the launch of a standalone sports app.
Even though Amazon is being hit by the economic slowdown that also offers many other big tech companies, sports content has become an increasingly valuable source of content for streaming platforms. That’s what pushed YouTube to pay 2 billion a year to bring the NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube and YouTube TV starting in 2023. Earlier this year, Apple started airing Major League Baseball games on Friday nights on Apple TV+, and the company also struck a $2.5 billion deal with the MLS to air soccer matches for the next 10 years.