Amazon to Challenge ESPN With Launch of Sports App

Amazon to Develop App Dedicated to Sports Content

Amazon plans to develop an app dedicated to sports content, according to a report.

The move will build upon the company’s sports programming offered by its Prime Video, which helps draw viewers to its retail platform, Reuters reported Wednesday (Dec. 28), citing an article by The Information.

As viewers switch to streaming content, sports programming remains one of the best ways to draw audiences to live events, according to the report.

Amazon did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

As PYMNTS reported Sept. 20, the astronomical price tag Amazon paid for rights to Thursday Night Football has paid off by attracting more Prime subscribers.

Amazon’s heavy investments in tentpole video programming are designed in large part to make the Amazon Prime subscription at $14.99 per month, or $139 per year, more attractive. Prime Video as a standalone subscription is $8.99 per month.

Similarly, when Walmart added free Paramount+ streaming TV service to all Walmart+ subscribers in August, the retail giant made no secret of its sports-minded thinking.

“The [Paramount+] service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more,” as well as other events and leagues from around the world, in addition to a more traditional slate of TV shows and films, Walmart said at the time.

Big games and blockbuster movies are proven merchandise-driving events that turbo-charge demand for everything from big screen TVs to snacks and drinks to apparel and more.

Google, too, has boosted its affiliation with sports programming. The NFL announced Thursday (Dec. 22) a strategic partnership with Google that grants Alphabet-owned YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels the exclusive right to distribute NFL Sunday Ticket in the United States.

Starting with the 2023 NFL season, NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on two of YouTube’s subscription businesses.

“YouTube has long been a home for football fans, whether they’re streaming live games, keeping up with their home team, or watching the best plays in highlights,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in the NFL’s announcement. “Through this expanded partnership with the NFL, viewers will now also be able to experience the game they love in compelling and innovative ways through YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels.”