Reuters Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Nov 22, 2016, 10.41 AM
Amazon.com is exploring live sports streaming and has held talks with leagues including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League for live game rights, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Amazon has held discussions to create a premium, exclusive sports package with a Prime membership. However, details are still not clear, the Journal reported on Monday.
The e-commerce giant's Prime loyalty programme offers original TV programming and access to digital entertainment products such as Prime Music and Prime Video, as well as one-hour delivery of purchases, for an annual fee of $99.
Amazon has also reached out to smaller leagues such as Major League Soccer, the Atlantic Coast Conference, college sports network Campus Insiders, 120 Sports, National Lacrosse League, Major League Lacrosse and World Surf League for game rights, according to the Journal.
The company has also contacted traditional TV networks for game rights they are not using, the report said.
Among those approached include Univision Communications for Mexican football league games, Walt Disney Co's ESPN and ONE World Sports, the report said.
Amazon, the NBA, the NFL and the Major League Baseball were not immediately available for comment.
"We don't comment on any partnership, potential or otherwise, until appropriate," World Surf League spokesman said.
MLS confirmed the talks with Amazon but declined to comment further.
ACC, 120 Sports, NLL, MLL and Campus Insiders could not be immediately reached for comment.
Amazon's move comes as sports fans increasingly rely on the internet to watch video at the expense of traditional cable and satellite connections.
Tech-giants such as Facebook and Twitter have signed up deals to beef up their video services.
Twitter has a deal with the NFL to stream its Thursday night games during the 2016 regular season, while Facebook streamed some US men's Olympic team games in partnership with the NBA.