Amazon and Google Keep Their Eyes on the Sportsball
Amazon Prime Video considers a standalone sports app; YouTube TV catches NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
* Just pretend we played a bunch of beer, lawnmower, and Manscape ads. Feel free to squeeze in a bathroom/snack break for realism.
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash.
Amazon Prime Video’s proposed sports app
Alongside its 25,000 on-demand movies and shows, Amazon Prime Video has live sports (New York Yankees baseball, NFL Thursday Night Football, and Premier League soccer), 12 hours of live daily content from Sports Talk, and rumors of even more sports action to come.
Streaming rights for sports aren’t cheap—but Amazon may pass the expense on to Prime members. No, the online retail juggernaut isn’t raising Prime’s price. Amazon is merely mulling a standalone sports app separate from Prime Video.1 But we think the app—if it materializes—will have a subscription fee.
Putting live sports from three major leagues into a separate app feels like the start of a whole new service. Also, Amazon’s going hard on live sports acquisitions—it bid on NFL SUNDAY TICKET (losing to YouTube TV), for example. More content means more value and expensive licensing fees.
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Adding such pricey, high-value content to Prime Video for free would be counterintuitive. And the only benefits we see to the content separation would be the centralization of Amazon’s sports offerings—and profits.
Even without NFL SUNDAY TICKET, Amazon’s existing live sports content and any future acquisitions could make Amazon’s proposed sports app irresistible. Amazon and its shareholders might feel likewise about an opportunity to monetize its sports content separately from Prime Video.
But, for now, Amazon’s sports app is only an idea. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
YouTube TV catches NFL SUNDAY TICKET
With 5 million subscribers, YouTube TV is the most popular live TV streaming service (and, according to our TV experts, the best).2 Its acquisition of NFL SUNDAY TICKET is a coup, since Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and ESPN wanted it for themselves.
And why wouldn’t they? Wherever SUNDAY TICKET landed, its abundance of live out-of-market football games could translate to higher profits and subscriber counts.
For YouTube TV, in particular, NFL SUNDAY TICKET could mean pulling far ahead of its closest competitor, Hulu + Live TV (4.1 million subscribers).2 And the acquisition might hasten streaming TV’s takeover by getting DIRECTV’s satellite TV customers to try the more affordable and flexible live TV streaming experience.
As with Amazon and its sports app, time will tell.
- Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends.com, “Amazon eyeing standalone app for sports, report claims,” December 2022. Accessed January 5, 2023.
- Todd Spangler, Variety, “YouTube TV Now Has More Than 5 Million Users, Topping Hulu’s Live TV Service,” July 2022. Accessed January 5, 2023.