Over the years, Amazon Prime’s video service has grown to the point where it has become a viable competitor to Netflix. With series like “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Man in the High Castle,” “The Grand Tour,” and others, the over the top service has made itse $99 annual fee worthwhile for subscribers. The service has made a mark in redefining television.
But now there’s talk that Amazon may launch a cable channel of its own. The New York Post is reporting that with a heavy inventory of scripted shows and movies, Amazon is according to sources, ” in the early stages of discussions about developing a new paid channel carrying high-end dramas and movies of its own.”
The plan is being developed as Amazon’s series are picking up awards and the movie it produced “Manchester by the Sea” is critically acclaimed and nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture.
If this comes to fruition, could Amazon go the HBO route, airing comedy and drama series, movies, documentaries and perhaps sports? Amazon has flirted with the possibility of streaming sports, talking with MLB, NBA and even bid on the 10-game NFL Thursday Night Football streaming package that eventually went to Twitter.
Premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime have aired live boxing, but nothing more than that. Could Amazon with its vast resources dip its proverbial toe in the water to bid on major sports properties to stand out from the competition? While MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Olympics, FIFA World Cup, MLS and college sports are locked into long-term contracts into the 2020’s and beyond, perhaps Amazon could become a player when the leagues come up for bid.
It’s well-known that the NFL is looking for new partners beyond the traditional TV networks and if Amazon launches a channel of its own, the league may allow the service a seat at the table along with CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC. The NFL welcomed ESPN and Fox to broadcast games when they were just eight years old so it’s not out of its realm to bring in a new network.
Right now, this is all in the planning stages and still has a long way to go. But it is interesting to see that Amazon is heading in the television route and what it could mean for sports television down the road.