Amazon and Apple to Stream More Sports
By: Samuel Lin
Recently, Amazon and Apple have paid billions of dollars to stream sports games from the National Football League (NFL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and other sports leagues. These big tech companies are trying to increase the subscriber bases of their streaming services by streaming more sports. Even though Amazon and Apple are streaming more games, many leagues will stick with traditional TV.
Recently, Apple agreed to a deal which will let them stream 1,000 MLS games for $2.5 billion. They also paid $85 million to stream two weekly Friday Major League Baseball (MLB) games. Apple TV subscribers must pay a fee of $4.99 per month in order to access the games.
Amazon Prime paid one billion dollars for exclusive rights to stream 15 NFL Thursday night games for the next 11 years. Viewers will have to pay a $8.99 per month subscription fee in order to access those games. Amazon will also stream UEFA Champions League soccer games.
“NFL games are the most watched live programming in the United States, and this unprecedented Thursday Night Football package gives tens of millions of new and existing Prime members exclusive access to must-watch live football on Prime Video,” said Mike Hopkins, the senior Vice President of Amazon Prime.
Amazon is not the only company becoming more involved in streaming NFL games. Nickelodeon, a children’s television network owned by ViacomCBS, streamed two NFL games last year. Nickelodeon added special effects, which went viral, such as virtual slime that poured down when a player scored a touchdown. Nickelodeon will more games next year.
"Together with Nickelodeon, CBS Sports is cultivating the next generation of NFL fans. Our inaugural NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon was an outstanding display of the power and the ability of ViacomCBS to continue to reach broader and younger audiences,” said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus.
Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, will stream 23 NFL games during the 2022-2023 season, compared to the 17 games included in their previous deal.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love, . . . these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the league and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game.”
Many sports leagues will remain with traditional TV broadcasters. This is because traditional TV broadcasters have more viewers than subscription TV services.
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