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Streaming is the future for sports
Amazon Prime got off to a flyer with last week’s first exclusive livestream of Thursday Night Football; early reports highlight the challenges facing cable networks like ESPN.
One game, big numbers
- Viewership figures for last week’s Los Angeles Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs streamed game are expected to easily surpass a 12.5 million benchmark promised to advertisers, Sports Business Journal reported.
- An internal memo, seen by GeekWire, revealed that the game window produced “the biggest three hours for US Prime sign-ups ever in the history of Amazon”.
Why it matters
Amazon’s sports play – its live streaming deal with the NFL is reported to be worth $11bn over 11 years – is paying dividends, attracting viewers and new users to its Prime product and advertisers will follow.
With fewer people subscribing to cable and the price of sports rights increasing significantly, the long-term future of top-level sports viewing is shifting away from traditional broadcasters to deep-pocketed tech companies.
ESPN, for example, has seen its subscriber base fall by around 25% over the past decade and its future as part of the Disney empire has been in some doubt until recently.
What it means
With tech companies eating their lunch, traditional broadcasters have to respond. For ESPN, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told the Financial Times, that includes aggressive marketing of ESPN+, its sports streaming network, as part of a bundle with its other streaming platforms, Disney+ and Hulu.
Sourced from GeekWire, Sports Business Journal, Financial Times
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