Amazon Makes Prime Bet On Sports With NBA Deal: Streaming Platform Will Soon Have Content From 4 Major Leagues (And More)

Zinger Key Points
  • Amazon is adding NBA live sports coverage to its increasing sports media rights coverage for Prime Video.
  • Through several recent partnerships, Amazon will cover MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL content for sports fans.

The race to secure media rights for major North American sports continues to heat up, as evidenced by a report that the NBA is nearing a $76 billion 11-year deal with multiple media companies.

Among the parties landing NBA rights is said to be e-commerce leader Inc AMZN.

What Happened: Amazon continues to push deeper into live sports content. It’s a move the Seattle-company hopes can boost subscriber numbers for its Prime Video streaming platform.

Amazon is said to be paying $1.8 billion annually for access to a selection of regular-season NBA games, the in-season tournament, play-in playoff games and potentially more.

The Walt Disney Company DIS and Comcast Corporation CMCSA are also part of the newly reported NBA media rights deal, which will begin in the 2025-2026 season and replace an expiring deal between Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery WBD and the NBA.

Related Link: Amazon Q1 Earnings Highlights: Revenue Beat, EPS Beat, AWS Hits $100-Billion Annual Run Rate And More

Why It's Important: The Amazon Prime deal with the NBA would add to its growing lineup of sports content from the U.S. and international markets.

Prime Video is the home of "Thursday Night Football" games through an 11-year $11 billion deal signed with the National Football League in 2021.

The streaming platform is also home to some home New York Yankees games and will stream five NASCAR races annually beginning in 2025.

Benzinga previously shared that Amazon partnered with regional sports network Diamond Sports Group, providing a financial lifeline to the struggling unit. Under the deal, Amazon became an investor in the company and will be the primary partner for consumers to purchase the streaming service.

Diamond is the largest regional sports network operator and covers 11 MLB teams, 15 NBA teams and 11 NHL teams.

"Customers will be able to access all local DTC content, including live MLB, NBA and NHL games, and pre-and post-game programming, for the teams for which Diamond retains DTC rights, through Prime Video Channels," the company said at the time.

Amazon is expected to share details on pricing and availability for the regional sports networks in the future. The rights could include having some air on Prime Video as part of standard packages and offering an add-on plan for the full season rights.

Beginning by 2025, Amazon will offer consumers nationally televised NBA and NFL games and NASCAR races, along with regional coverage of select MLB, NBA and NHL teams. With the rights, Amazon is one of the limited companies that can say they offer consumers access to content for all four major North American leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL).

Amazon's NFL rights have successfully increased Prime Video subscriptions and garnered high viewership ratings. The company landed 11 spots on the top 100 primetime broadcasts of 2023, with six Thursday Night Football games ranking among the 50 most-watched primetime events in the U.S. in 2023.

The news of Amazon landing NBA games comes as rival streaming platform Netflix Inc NFLX recently landed two Christmas Day NFL games for the 2024 season. Netflix is said to be looking for $400,000 for advertisements during the two games.

While Amazon's e-commerce and AWS segments get the majority of the attention, the streaming platform could continue to help grow Amazon Prime memberships and new efforts to boost advertising on Prime Video could bring in billions more in revenue for the company.

AMZN Price Action: Amazon shares trade at $183.22 versus a 52-week range of $118.35 to $191.70. Amazon stock is up 46% over the last year.

Read Next: Netflix Stock Hits 52-Weeks High After NFL Deal, Ad-Supported Plan Update: Analyst Says ‘The Common Theme Here Is Advertising’

Image: Unsplash

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