Amazon and Facebook set to become “major disruptive force” in fight for live sports rights
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Amazon and Facebook set to become “major disruptive force” in fight for live sports rights

Head of technology research at GBH Insights, Daniel Ives, released a note on Tuesday outlining his belief that Ecommerce giants Facebook an Amazon were set to become major players in the battle for sports rights. Ives says that the companies’ massive audiences and deep pockets make streaming major games and events an attractive proposition, and that the next 12 to 18 months represents a “pivotal window” within which they could choose to do so.

Amazon and Facebook’s share prices have outperformed over the past 12 months

graph 1503 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Ives thinks that the story will play out over the next few years, writing: "We note in 2021, the year when the NFL, MLB and NHL media rights deals mostly end, will be the first major opportunity for Amazon, Facebook and other major tech streaming platforms to potentially bid on some of these rights versus the likes of traditional entrenched media/cable players."

Both companies have taken streaming seriously. Facebook has pledged to spend $1 billion on original content this year, while Amazon – who has been at it longer – could spend as much as $5 billion. As these companies extend their media reach and find new stuff to put on their platforms, streaming sports seems like a natural fit. Ives said:

"We will be watching this sports content battle closely over the coming year, as well as the success/engagement from the Facebook MLB endeavor, as it could be a sign of things to come with streaming platforms playing a bigger role in global professional sports broadcasting rights in the years ahead and potentially shaking up this market, while adding a major notch on the content belts of Amazon, Facebook and other new tech entrants to this arena."


Dominion holds Amazon and Facebook in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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