What’s Amazon’s strategy for live sports?
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What’s Amazon’s strategy for live sports?

Ecommerce titan Amazon has been experimenting with live sports streaming for years. Through its Prime Video streaming video on demand (SVOD) service, the company has brought live soccer, basketball and more to viewers. But when Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos was spotted in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s booth during the Super Bowl in February, expectations were high that the tech giant was set to conquer the world of live sports. That hasn’t happened yet, so what’s the deal?

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 28% so far this year

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According to Amazon’s vice president of global sports video, Marie Donoghue, the company is still experimenting with strategic approaches to live sports. She told Reuters: “We're literally at day one in sports, so we're learning and experimenting.” Some of that experimentation concerns the extent to which Amazon will pursue the rights to live sports events. She continued: “we don’t talk about specific rights… as a matter of course, but also because we’re just not sure yet.” She also said there was a possibility that the sports on offer may be region-dependent: “we don’t have to serve the same content in the same way to everybody.”

At the moment, Amazon is busy tracking the engagement with the sports it does offer. Every Thursday, it streams Thursday Night Football live on Twitch – the company is “watching all of that,” Donoghue says, and wants to find a way to “use live sports to drive value for Prime customers.” It has previously bought up digital rights to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in the UK and a number of England’s Premier League soccer matches. Using analytics and market research, the company is hoping to unearth the best strategy moving forward.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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