Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) recently inked a deal to stream live tennis events via its Prime Video service, and it’s using the opportunity as a sort of testing ground for a wider push into live sports.
Bloomberg has more details on the e-commerce behemoth’s plans to disrupt the live sports broadcasting industry:
The online-retailing giant, which announced an offering of 37 live tennis events to British and Irish video subscribers, will analyze how users react as it plans further expansion of its web-TV service, said Jay Marine, Amazon’s European head of Prime Video.
“It’s very early for us in sport,” Marine said in a phone interview. “We’re going to learn from this. The approach we take is to see how customers respond.”
Amazon sees live sports as a big avenue for growth since it’s a service that viewers can’t get from Netflix, which is 100% reliant on on-demand movies and TV shows. Sports remain very popular around the world, with eSports showing incredible growth in recent years, so there’s plenty of room for Amazon to grow in the space.
Amazon’s deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football games is another early example of its dedication to live sports. The company has also been sniffing around the English Premier League. Rumor has it that Amazon might join the bidding war to secure the streaming rights for the EPL, which would be a massive coup and instantly propel Amazon Video to the forefront of the space, particularly in the United Kingdom, where the popular soccer league is based.
Amazon.com, Inc. shares rose $0.56 (+0.05%) in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 51.84%, versus a 17.26% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.