Is live sports the next content acquisition for Amazon? Perhaps.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, the e-commerce company is trying to get the rights to a number of sports events, including the French Open tennis championship and professional rugby matches. The Seattle company is also eying soccer games and other popular U.S. sports, such as basketball.
Sports content is part of Amazon’s massive content push. The company has been acquiring content, like movies and docu-series programming, at a rapid clip in recent months as it looks to compete with streaming rivals Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL). During the company’s most recent earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky said Amazon (AMZN) plans to triple the amount of original content over the rest of the year.
Most of Amazon’s original content is streamed for Amazon Prime members as well as for members of the subscription service’s newly launched video-only plan, which costs $8.99 per month. Live sports content could be present an opportunity for Amazon on a front that both Netflix and Apple have yet to tackle.
But rights to live sports games could come with some serious costs. Twitter (TWTR) just paid $10 million for the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games during the upcoming season. CBS (CBS) and NBC (CMCSA) paid $45 million per Thursday night game in the 2016 and 2017 season.
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But Amazon also appears to be building a group of executives to help tackle the sports vertical.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon brought on Sports Illustrated executive James DeLorenzo to lead its sports division as well as YouTube (GOOG) executive Charlie Neiman to manage sports partnerships and business development.