What Amazon’s Latest Hire Says About Its Sports Broadcasting Ambitions

August 29, 2018, 1:25 PM UTC

Amazon is seemingly expanding its presence in the sports broadcasting business with a major new hire.

The tech giant has hired former ESPN executive vice president Marie Donoghue as vice president of sports video, CNBC has confirmed. While Amazon didn’t divulge details on what Donoghue would do at the company, she played an integral role in the creation of wildly popular sports programming at the network, including the 30 for 30 series and OJ: Made In America.

According to CNBC, Donoghue left ESPN last year.

Amazon has been quietly building a sports broadcasting business for its Amazon Prime Video streaming service. The company has inked deals with the NFL and international soccer leagues to stream content, and is streaming tennis coverage from the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The company has also been investing in a variety of sports documentaries.

Donoghue, therefore, could play an integral role in the development of Amazon’s broader sports efforts. The move could also help Amazon at differentiating its streaming service with Netflix, which has some sports documentaries, but has largely stayed away from live sports streaming.

Meanwhile, ESPN continues to be a major force in live sports and sports documentaries. Its ESPN app, available on mobile devices and set-top boxes like the Apple TV, allows users to stream both live and on-demand sports programming.

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