For many years the sports media industry was wondering when online and digital giants like Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon, and others would become significant players in the bidding for sports rights. Although we have yet to see one of those companies go all-in on the billion dollar deals that the likes of ESPN or other major networks make with the major leagues, we are seeing an increasing number of deals being struck for streaming rights.
One of the biggest of those deals has been Thursday Night Football, starting first with Twitter and then moving this season to Amazon. And according to one report, Amazon isn’t ready to stop just there.
Via the Daily Mail comes the news that Amazon wants to bid for ATP Masters rights to get into the tennis scene:
Internet giants Amazon have tennis high on their list of priorities as they develop big plans for the live streaming of sport.
The ATP Masters series, whose contract with Sky expires in 2018, is seen as a serious target. Amazon want to start developing their sports content and as the largest online retailer in the world have the financial resources to challenge for any sports rights that interest them.
Amazon representatives are understood to have been at Wimbledon making contacts in tennis ahead of a potential bid to stream all the major tournaments below the Grand Slams on the Amazon Prime subscription platform. Amazon have already done a deal with the NFL to stream a package of 10 Thursday-night games in 2017.
While the ATP Masters by itself isn’t necessarily a game-changer, it would be a major sign of intent from Amazon that they want to extend their sports library beyond TNF. We’ve seen Twitter do something similar by coming to a number of one-off agreements to stream everything from college football to Major League Baseball.
And let’s be honest, these days it seems like whatever Amazon wants Amazon gets. Who is saying no to Jeff Bezos these days?
— Khalil Sehnaoui (@sehnaoui) July 15, 2017
Amazon is well positioned to basically do whatever they want these days. It could be that these deals are only the appetizer of what’s to come on Amazon’s sports menu.