(Adds response from World Surf League and MLS)
Nov 21 Amazon.com Inc is exploring live
sports streaming and has held talks with leagues including the
National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the
National Football League for live game rights, the Wall Street
Journal reported, citing sources.
Amazon has held discussions to create a premium, exclusive
sports package with a Prime membership. However, details are
still not clear, the Journal reported on Monday.
The e-commerce giant's Prime loyalty program offers original
TV programming and access to digital entertainment products such
as Prime Music and Prime Video, as well as one-hour delivery of
purchases, for an annual fee of $99.
Amazon has also reached out to smaller leagues such as Major
League Soccer, the Atlantic Coast Conference, college sports
network Campus Insiders, 120 Sports, National Lacrosse League,
Major League Lacrosse and World Surf League for game rights,
according to the Journal.
The company has also contacted traditional TV networks for
game rights they are not using, the report said. (on.wsj.com/2eZJ4dy)
Among those approached include Univision Communications Inc
for Mexican soccer league games, Walt Disney Co's
ESPN and ONE World Sports, the report said.
Amazon, the NBA, the NFL and the Major League Baseball were
not immediately available for comment.
"We don't comment on any partnership, potential or
otherwise, until appropriate," World Surf League spokesman said.
MLS confirmed the talks with Amazon but declined to comment
ACC, 120 Sports, NLL, MLL and Campus Insiders could not be
immediately reached for comment.
Amazon's move comes as sports fans increasingly rely on the
internet to watch video at the expense of traditional cable and
Tech-giants such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc
have signed up deals to beef up their video services.
Twitter has a deal with the NFL to stream its Thursday night
games during the 2016 regular season, while Facebook streamed
some U.S. men's Olympic team games in partnership with the NBA.
(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj